Education

Building early learning into downtown

Studer Community Institute's Shannon Nickinson and Nicole Webb. Credit: Ron Stallcup.

Early learning is on many minds these days.

As folks who have been writing and researching the subject deeply, we couldn’t be happier with the interest in how to help children from birth to 5 get the best start for school that they can.

The Pensacola Metro ReportEarly learning was one of the key areas of focus of the Studer Community Institute’s Pensacola Metro Report, published in August 2014.

In 2014, the most recent year that Florida Department of Education officials have published kindergarten readiness rates, only 66 percent of Escambia County’s 5-year-olds were kindergarten ready at the start of school.

Exciting news this week was reported by the Pensacola News Journal about the early learning garden space that will be part of the Bodacious Brew’s drive-thru, set to open in mid-December.

Miller Caldwell III, a partner at his family’s architecture firm Caldwell and Associates, designed the garden and has a passionate interest in how the physical environment and outdoor spaces can support and supplement learning for our youngest children.

The Bodacious Brew is part of the Studer Family of Companies — which includes SCI.

We are proud to be working with Miller and his team on another project at the Bear Levin Studer YMCA that we think will be a beautiful and powerful statement about the importance of early learning in a public space.

And we hope is a sign that more and more partners will join us on this journey to create an Early Learning City in America’s First Settlement.

An Early Learning City is a community that support early brain development, parent engagement and school readiness for all of our children, especially those ages birth to 5. It enlists the whole community in building a culture of lifelong learning, including in its public spaces.