First Step opens its doors for children

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2006

A building that once rang with the sounds of trombones and tubas will be alive again with different sounds - those of children laughing, playing and learning thanks to the Butler County School System, which officially cut the ribbon Wednesday on the First Step Early Childhood Center on the old Greenville High School campus.

The facility will serve children six weeks old to four years old, and will focus primarily on early childhood development while being a resource for working parents and teachers.

&#8220We hope this will help employees of the existing and new industries in town with a safe and secure place for them to leave their children while they're at work,” said Gerry Adair, Federal and special programs coordinator for the school system. &#8220We also hope it will be a recruiting tool (for the system) that will allow teachers to leave their pre-school child or baby while they're teaching.”

Adair said the program will accept children beginning April 17, &#8220on a first come, first serve basis,” with parents paying a $75 weekly fee.

The building will also house the offices of Healthy Kids, a non-profit child development program that focuses on health, safety and nutrition training primarily for daycare providers.

&#8220It will be nice to have our office in a more central location so we can better serve Greenville and the surrounding area,” said Healthy Kids director Lisa Nimmer, whose office formally was located on Halso Mill Road.

Having Healthy Kids on site will be a plus for the center, says Adair, because proper implantation of child care programs will insure quality care for the children that enroll in the program.

&#8220Our goal is to be a childhood development center, developing language and literacy skills,” Adair said. &#8220The first four years are the most important in the development of a child's brain.”

The $30,000 renovation of the building was funded by grants and donations from the Greenville Rotary Club, Alabama Power, Sen. Wendell Mitchell, Rep. Charles Newton and The Daniel Foundation.

For more information on enrolling in the First Step Early Childhood Center call 382-5199.