Friday, February 12, 2010

Event commemorates Child Development Center agencies that exceed professional accreditation standards

The child development center on the Ohio University-Chillicothe campus recognized agencies at the center that have reached standards that exceed professional licensure criteria. The “Center of Excellence Celebration Luncheon” on Friday, Feb. 12, commemorated the spirit of quality that has marked the Ross County/Ohio University-Chillicothe Child Development and Family Service Center since the center opened its doors three years ago. The agencies that were recognized include: • Chillicothe City Schools and the National Association for the Education of Young Children program. The NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services of children from birth through age 8. Accreditation is a year-long process and is for five years. • Head Start and the Step Up to Quality program. This rating system recognizes early care and education programs that meet quality benchmarks above the minimum health and safety licensing standards. Benchmarks include low child to staff rations, group size, accreditation, staff education, specialized training, improved workplace characteristics and early learning standards. • Ross County Development Disability and Quality Services Accreditation. The preschool special education programs meet the needs of children, ages 3 through 5, with disabilities. The development disabilities classes at the center are accredited with quality services certification through 2012. Further, two gifts to the center were announced during Friday’s event. Sue Sherman of the Ross County Health Department is making a gift of $2,050 in physical fitness equipment. Rick Marriott is giving $5,564 for playground equipment on behalf of the Ross County Development Disability. It was noted during the event that President Barack Obama stated, “We should raise the bar when it comes to early learning programs … a child’s most formative years.” As the agencies’ advanced accreditations prove, the center has stepped up and met that challenge. “Since its beginning, the Child Development Center has offered a classic example of what can occur when individuals of a range of skills and expertise are brought together for a common purpose,” OU-C Dean Richard Bebee said. “With the Child Development Center, that purpose has always been improving the quality of life for residents of this great region. The success of these facilities is a tribute to the qualities that make Ross County such an exceptional place to live and raise a family.” After being in operation for more than three years, the center continues to meet and exceed its lofty expectations. The center serves the community by providing high quality educational experiences for children and providing valuable practical experience for OU-C students. More than 300 local children and six local agencies utilize the center. Additionally, OU-C students, primarily education majors, take classes in the center. “The success of these agencies we are recognizing today demonstrates in a very tangible way that these expectations are being met and the bar is being continually raised,” Bebee said. “Further, the center’s impact will be felt far into the future as the center continues to serve as a gateway to opportunity.” In building on that forward-looking theme, OU-C early childhood education faculty member Jamie Harmount said, “Research shows that high quality preschool programs help prepare students for future success.” The center began operations Jan. 2, 2007, after ground was broken Sept. 15, 2005. The $3.4 million, 21,000-square-foot facility is debt-free. It includes 13 classrooms, 3 small attached playground areas, 5 therapy rooms for children/infants with disabilities, a courtyard, an inside ‘town square’ commons area, a conference room, a nurse’s room, receptionist area, full-service kitchen and 8 small offices. Agencies and organizations currently utilizing the center and providing services to children include: • Ohio University-Chillicothe early childhood education program and OU-C nursing program. • Ross County Board of Development Disabilities early intervention and therapy programs. • Head Start pre-school and early learning initiative programs. • Ross County Job and Family Services Discovery Tree Family Resources Program, and Children and Family First Council. • Walnut Street United Methodist Church WeeCare Outreach program for young parents and their infants. • Chillicothe City School District early childhood education program.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Artistic side of winter

The recent winter storm has made life inconvenient for regional residents. It also highlighted the picturesque aspect of the OU-C campus.

Baltimore clergy member & author to lead “Lunch and Learn” discussion about Obama presidency

The Rev. C. Anthony Hunt will lead a “Lunch and Learn” group discussion on the topic “A Year After — Obama and Holding on to Hope” at noon Friday, Feb. 26, in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The event, which is sponsored by the OU-C Cultural Committee and commemorates Black History Month, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. The Rev. Hunt, an ordained elder, currently serves as superintendent of the Baltimore Metropolitan District of the United Methodist Church. He is a professor at St. Mary’s Seminar and University and is the author of more than 50 published articles and chapters related to church and society and several books, including And Yet the Melody Lingers: Essays, Sermons and Prayers on Religion and Race. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, his MBA from Troy State University, a master of divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Ind., and he has completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton University’s Center of Theological Inquiry. After Rev. Hunt speaks, there will be an opportunity for those in attendance to participate in a group discussion. “This event offers an opportunity for campus and community members to interact in a discussion that is topical and of interest,” said OU-C Head Librarian Allan Pollchik, a member of the cultural committee. “This discussion is part of our ongoing effort to engage with members of the local community and further build an intellectual community.” The speaker will be participating in other events in the community. Details are available at: http://firstbaptistchurchchillicothe.com/index.php?nid=106620&s=ev&event_id=252525&event_start_date=2010-02-27&viewmode=week&viewdetails=true

OU-C students find that academic rigors and other demands stave off boredom during winter months

We regularly talk with OU-C students to get their views on relevant topics. This week’s topic involves how students have managed to avoid going stir-crazy with the recent inclement weather laying best-laid plans to waste. As you will read, many students are finding that their academic pursuits and other obligations are keeping them busy enough. Below are what some of the campus’ students had to say. “I do not have time to get bored,” said Janet Mullins, a Human Services Technology major from Chillicothe who is gaining valuable insights during a practicum with Job & Family Services. “The practicum has been very helpful in learning exactly what I want to do once I graduate. One benefit of the practicum is that I get to work in each of the agency’s five departments. I have had the opportunity to get out in the community and meet people, which could be valuable when I am looking for a job. I am also having the chance to learn how what I am learning in the classroom can be applied on the job. For example, I have seen how intervention strategies work in real-life situations.” “I have enough classes to keep my busy,” said Jason Atkins, an especially career-focused Bachelor’s of Technical and Applied Studies major from Kingston who graduated from Zane Trace High School. Atkins is becoming expert in the Lean Six Sigma system to business operations. Lean 6 Sigma system awards certificates in a structure similar to the martial arts, and Atkins holds a ‘green belt,’ which is one step below a black belt. “It is a statistics-based approach to improving processes, and the degree I am earning will complement the certificate I already hold.” After graduating from high school, Atkins attended OU-C for five years, and then returned to earn an associate degree in 2001. He returned in the spring of 2009 to pursue his bachelor’s degree. Atkins has been taking classes during period layoffs from work. “I am looking for a career that I really like. Fortunately, I had already completed my associate degree and was able to build upon it. Everything is rolling along just fine right now.” Tiffany Price, a pre-nursing student who graduated from Chillicothe High School, also resumed her college career as a non-traditional student after taking some classes right out of high school. “The second time around, I have grown up and know what is at stake. I am more focused this time around. I know what I want in life, and I want to have a career where I am doing more than living paycheck-to-paycheck.” Price is currently working as an aide at Adena Health System. Danielle Sommers, a nursing student from Southeastern High School, is keeping busy with academics, a part-time job and raising 4-year-old twins. “I don’t have time to get bored,” she said. “It gets kind of tough at times. I scheduled my classes before beginning work, and it is kind of hectic right now.” Sommers started college five years after high school graduation. “I am more focused now. I am the first person from my family to go to college, and I want to get a good education and have a good future, especially for my twins. After having a job, adjusting to college has been difficult at times.” “It feels good to go to school and not worry about work,” said Lee Adams, a Bachelor’s of Specialized Studies major who earned an associate degree in Human Services Technology last spring. Adams began his college journey 16 years after leaving high school. “I was a little apprehensive at first. It helped a great deal to have other non-traditional students around. Actually, classes are going well and I am enjoying college. I am more focused since I am paying for it.” Adams is considering pursuing a master’s degree after earning his bachelor’s degree. Feel free to enter the conversation by posting your comments to this story.

CAT scholarships available for future math & science teachers

Current and future Ohio University-Chillicothe students who plan to pursue teaching careers math and science in grades 7 through 12 in this region may be eligible for Choose Appalachian Teaching (CAT) scholarships, valued at $2,500 annually. Those receiving the scholarships must be Ohio residents who are willing to make a three-year commitment to teaching in a school district in Appalachian Ohio upon graduation from college. More information about the program and an application are available online at http://www.coe.ohiou.edu/college-offices/dean-office/morton/CAT.htm or by contacting OU-C representative Joyce Atwood at atwoodj@ohio.edu or (740) 774-7732. The CAT program is a $1 million scholarship project that is intended to help develop 75 more talented mathematics and science teaches in southeastern Ohio. Participating institutions include Ohio University’s main campus and five regional campuses, Marietta College, Muskingum University, Shawnee State University and the University of Rio Grande.

Writing Center workshop to address MLA, APA style questions

The OU-C Writing Center, located in the Stevenson Center library, will host a workshop from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 24 to address the nuances of MLA and APA citation formats. The workshop is taking an especially strong student-centered approach, with student-tutors sharing insights with their peers. The hands-on session will allow participants to gain answers to specific questions they have, including those about projects they are currently pursuing. Students are encouraged to bring papers they are currently developing. Immediately following the workshop, Writing Center tutors will be available to answer questions and help with projects. For more information, contact the Writing Center at 774-7779.

Tax preparation available for individuals meeting criteria

Free tax preparation assistance will be provided for individuals meeting certain criteria from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13, in the Stevenson Center at Ohio University-Chillicothe. Individuals who made less than $57,000 in 2009 may qualify for this service, which is provided by the Ross County Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition. OU-C is a member of the coalition, and this opportunity may be especially valuable for OU-C students. Interested individuals should call (740) 779-2798 to determine if they qualify and to make an appointment. Saturday’s session is part of a series of “Super Saturday” tax preparation opportunities offered by the coalition.

Upcoming Campus Events

• Academic Council meeting at noon on Feb. 23 in Bennett Hall room 105 • Administrative Council meeting at 9 a.m. on Feb. 11 in Bennett Hall room 105 • OU-C theater program presents encore performance of Fall Collection at 8 p.m. on Feb. 12 & 13 in Bennett Hall auditorium • Tax preparation assistance workshop from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 13 in Stevenson Center • “Healthy Heart” brown bag discussion at noon on Feb. 17 in Bennett Hall room 134 {Rescheduled from Feb. 10} • Opening reception for Tolerance III art exhibit at 6 p.m. on Feb. 18 in Patricia Scott Art Gallery in Bennett Hall {Rescheduled from Feb. 6} • Michael Zimmerman delivers Kennedy Lecture on compatibility of Darwin (science) and religion at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 in Bennett Hall auditorium. Reception at 6 p.m. in Patricia Scott At Gallery • MLA and APA citation workshop from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Stevenson Center Writing Center• “Lunch and Learn” with Tony Hunt at noon on Feb. 26 in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons. Topic: “A Year After – Obama and Holding on to Hope.” • OU-C theater program presents The Quick-Change Room at 8 p.m. on Marcy 19 & March 20 in the Bennett Hall auditorium

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Discussion on heart-health issues rescheduled

The "Healthy Heart, Healthy Life" brown bag lunch scheduled for noon Feb. 10 in Bennett Hall room 134 at Ohio University-Chillicothe has been rescheduled for noon on Feb. 17. During the session, OU-C nursing faculty members Lisa Kauffman and Vicky Parker will share tips for leading a healthy lifestyle. The event, which is sponsored by the OU-C Health & Wellness Committee, is part of a series engage campus members in discussions involving topics that are particularly relevant and which can help individuals lead healthier lives. The event is free and open to the public.