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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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Children’s center to commemorate 20th anniversary at Friday event

A+pre-kindergarten+class+from+Becky+Gates+Childrens+Center+will+perform+at+Fridays+anniversary+celebration.
Photo by Provided

A pre-kindergarten class from Becky Gates Children’s Center will perform at Friday’s anniversary celebration.

On Oct. 26, the Becky Gates Children’s Center will celebrate 20 years of serving the families of Texas A&M students, faculty and staff. 
The center is open year-round and provides children between 12 months and five years old with quality learning programs. 
Some of the guest speakers at the event will include Vice President for Student Affairs Daniel Pugh, Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel, the center’s benefactor Dorothy McFerrin and Becky Gates herself. The pre-kindergarten class from the center will perform a few songs during the celebration.
Erica Ritter has been the director of the center since June 2017, overseeing the success and effectiveness of the programs and ensuring that the center provides quality early education for the children. 
Ritter said the center has played an important role in the university for students, faculty and staff alike.
“For our parent students, it’s imperative for someone to have somewhere close by so they can attend class, so they can attend study groups, so they can be active participants across campus while knowing that their children are taken care of — and not only taken care of, but that they’re also receiving that foundation of a lifetime of learning by being at a quality early education center,” Ritter said.
Ritter said that the 20-year anniversary is a major milestone, and she’s excited to see the center flourishing after two decades.
Associate vice president of the Division of Student Affairs Tom Reber, who is responsible for overseeing the business aspects of the division, said keeping the center updated is a vital part of preparing children for their educational future. 
“We try to do our best to make sure the center looks as new as the day it opened,” Reber said. “If you ask kindergarten teachers in town, they can probably tell you what children come to them from the Becky Gates Children’s Center because they are so well prepared when they get to kindergarten.”
Reber said he is looking forward to seeing the center’s namesake and benefactor back in town for this week’s event.  
“[I appreciate] any time we have an opportunity for Mrs. Gates and Mrs. McFerrin to come back to campus, whether it be an anniversary celebration or whether they be back in town to see the students,” Reber said. “They both have given great support to the center and love the students here and love to interact with them.”  
The 20-year anniversary celebration will take place Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with remarks beginning at 4 p.m.

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