The Woodward News

Local News

June 14, 2013

Meeting focuses on early childhood development



All around Woodward there are examples of how local businesses and organizations are investing in young children.

Benbrook spoke about how his bank became involved with the "Adopt A School" program around 15 years ago and decided to partner with the Early Childhood Center (ECC) to help provide support and resources for the school.

"The reason we picked the Early Childhood Center to adopt is because that's where the focus needs to be, at the beginning," he said.

The Stock Exchange Bank's relationship with the ECC "continues to this day," with Benbrook and his employees making contributions, both financially and with their time, to help the school.

Most recently, he said that "on the last day of school this year we went around and gave goodie bags to all of the teachers and just said 'thank you for all you do.'  It's not much but we feel it is a way to let them know that we know the important role they play in the development of our young people."

According to school board member Merklin, the teachers in turn also do their part to support and encourage early development, even beyond the "atmosphere of learning" they provide each school day.

"For 20 years," she said, "Woodward teachers have sponsored 'Books for Babies,' which is a program where every child that is born in the Woodward hospital is sent home with a bag of books.  It's a way to tell new parents that we believe early learning is important and encourage them to support that by reading to their babies."

Merklin said it is easy to see Woodward Public School District's commitment to early education through its facilities and programs.

In addition to the Early Childhood Center itself, she said "we host a Head Start and Boomer day care programs because we recognize the value of offering opportunities to early learners."

And because those facilities, especially the new ECC building, would not be possible without support from the community, she said they are also a symbol of the community's investment in early development.

By passing the bond issue 6 years ago to pay for the ECC building, Merklin said "the community said, 'we too believe that early childhood development in the first 5 years is important.'"

As the assistant city manager, Haines said that the city also has its share of facilities that seek to offer development opportunities for some of the city's youngest residents.  He said this includes everything from Kid's Inc. programs that help teach teamwork to the city's park system which provide "a safe haven for children and families to go enjoy themselves."

However, Haines said "perhaps one of the strongest areas" where the city shows its support for early development is the Woodward Public Library.  He said this is evident through the children's programming that the library offers, such as "lapsit" reading programs.

"Lapsits are for infants," he said.  "Their parents bring them in and stay with them and interact with them, reading to them and helping them work on motor skills.  It also helps acclimate the child to new interactions, bringing them out of their home environment and developing their social skills."

The library also offers "story time" for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds, Haines said, which allows them to "continue to develop those social skills and other skills," as the child learns to sit still, pay attention and listen as a library staff member reads them a story.

Text Only
Local News
  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has educators worried

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — With the Legislature's repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they're concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 state which have implemented the standards.

    July 22, 2014

  • web1.jpg Travelers win Connie Mack state championship

    Down 2-0 and down to their final three outs, the Traveler Majors delivered a championship rally in the seventh inning Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • Hearing set on rezoning

    City commissioners will tackle rezoning items and a licensing agreement amendment Monday evening at the regularly scheduled meeting of the City of Woodward and Woodward Municipal Authority.

    July 20, 2014

  • Red Cross seeking additional volunteers

    The Red Cross is currently looking for volunteers in Woodward and the surrounding areas.

    July 20, 2014

  • Changes in military surplus program still causing some problems

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years.

    July 20, 2014

  • Love for Dr. Waddell easy to see

    Doctor Donald Waddell is known by many names by many people.

    July 20, 2014 1 Video