01-1017.htmlTEXTGoMk.mBIN Recess in the city…URI Providence Campus houses accredited child development center URI Providence Campus houses accredited child development center
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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Recess in the city…
URI Providence Campus houses
accredited child development center

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- October 17, 2001 -- For children enrolled in the Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center at the University of Rhode Island Providence Campus on 80 Washington St., recess is a learning adventure that takes them throughout the capital city.

"We use the entire city as a playground," says the center’s director Deborah Morelle, noting that the 40 enrolled children ranging in age from 3 through 5, walk to different parts of the city twice a day. On occasion they will take a trolley.

That kind of adventurous learning, along with a play-based curriculum, earned the center its recent accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The center, which opened in 1996 and added an all-day kindergarten in 1998, is a laboratory school and training site for about 100 students enrolled in URI’s Child Development Program. (Another child development center is located on URI’s Kingston campus. Diane Horm-Wingerd administers both.)

The school is the site of a planned visit by participants attending the New England Kindergarten Conference, which will be held in Providence next month.

The school maintains an open door policy and encourages parent visits and participation. About 60 percent of the children have parents who work in the city. The other 40 percent are children of continuing education students, many of whom have received Feinstein scholarships to attend college. The children themselves attend the Center on scholarships, thanks to the generosity of Alan Shawn Feinstein.

The classroom is diverse culturally and economically. "We infuse that diversity into everything we do," says Morelle, a resident of Lincoln, R.I. "We teach that everyone is special."

During inner-city "recess", URI’s young charges may climb stairs at the World War I Memorial on South Main Street, run and play ball in Roger Williams Memorial Park off North Main Street, or ride bikes or scooters in Cathedral Square off Empire Street or in Freeman Park on Westminster St. They might even put on ice skates at the Fleet Skating Center.

The classroom can be extended outdoors since most of the materials are portable. It isn’t unusual to see one large red wagon filled with books, blocks, paint, trucks, and dolls being pulled through the streets of the city.

Sometimes the children check out such places as the Providence Public Library, the Providence Performing Arts Center, the Children’s Museum, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, or Veterans Auditorium.

"Providence is a unique place to learn," says Morelle. "The children learn that we share the city with many others …businesses, restaurants, taxi cabs, the homeless, and even peregrine falcons."

For more information about Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center, call 277-5455.
For Information: Deborah Morelle, 277-5264, Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

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File last updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2001

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