The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M takes interest in Charlotte Sharp Children Center

Photo by Photo by Samuel Falade

The Charlotte Sharp Children’s Center Building on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. 

On Aug. 21, Texas A&M announced its ownership of the Charlotte Sharp Children’s Center, a childcare center that provides early educational programming for children ages 2-6 years in the Bryan-College Station. The A&M Institute for Early Childhood Development & Education will collaborate with the children’s center to provide assistance with early childhood education.

Dean of the School of Education and Human Development Michael de Miranda, Ph.D., said A&M has an outstanding Becky Gates Children’s Center, which offers world-class childcare for the local and university community.

“The addition of the Charlotte Sharp Children’s Center expands our capabilities to not only serve the community, but also potential employees that have children that are employees of [A&M],” de Miranda said.

De Miranda said the centers are able to collaborate with other resources and ideas.

“The idea is that we can use best practices from one center to the other and look at the Charlotte Sharp Children’s Center and the wonderful things that they’ve done there and the best practices that are here and utilize them in other areas,” de Miranda said. “So we can really learn from each other and work together.”

De Miranda said graduate students will be able to practice methods, techniques for research and understand the early childhood development and education experience.

“Just think — children are being raised and taught there and taken care of,” de Miranda said. “Undergraduate Aggies who are interested in early childhood development and education are going to be [seeing] early childhood development, and teachers are all going to be able to experience that.”

Director of the Texas A&M Institute of Early Childhood and Development Hope Gerde, Ph.D., said she is excited about the integration of the Charlotte Sharp Children’s Center into the university.

“I think the benefits are numerous,” Gerde said. “The educators at the Charlotte Sharp Children’s Center have early access to new technology generated by the rigorous research conducted at [A&M] and beyond. They will be contributing to the generation of this knowledge by partnering with faculty to guide and execute this research.”

Gerde said students are looking forward to opportunities to partner with the educators, families and children of the Charlotte Sharp Children’s Center, as well as contributing to cutting-edge research.

“The field of early childhood transforms the lives of young children and their families, [which] ensures that children have access to high-quality education right from the start,” Gerde said. 

Gerde said the collaboration makes a difference for the teachers as well.

“As we go, we’ll continue to support those teachers to be mentoring all the Aggies who are pre-service educators or in various fields who are engaged in practicum in the centers that, again, make our graduates even stronger,” Gerde said.

Gerde said the Charlotte Sharp Children’s Center and its programming will contribute widely to A&M’s nationally recognized success in educational research and teacher preparation.

“There will be an incredible driving force to ensure that the students have the gold standard in education through this Living Learning Lab, where they will not only be learning theories and practice in the classroom, but have opportunities to observe their experience, teach and work with families,” Gerde said.

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