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The Eastern Florida State College Lab School program, located on our campus, is a dynamic by-product of the early days of the Space Program. In the 1960’s, the Space Program at Cape Canaveral mobilized a huge work force in the surrounding communities. This work force was made up of a large number of young families moving into Brevard County from all over the country. The job demands on the husbands to invest long hours at work put the entire responsibility of child raising on the wives. These young mothers, newly located in a strange community without extended family support or close friends, and with little support from absent husbands, were placed under great strain. The traditional extended family and community of long time friends were no longer available to support young families.
In 1967, one newcomer to the area, Barbara Young, recognized the problems these young families were facing when she searched the area for a facility to meet the needs of her own preschooler and found none available. Mrs. Young was equipped with a masters degree in social work, with a broad background in early childhood development and six children of her own. She founded a co-op preschool in 1967 with goals and premises that still hold today. At that time, parents assumed all costs. However, Mrs. Young and the other parents found that parents needed more information in order to deal effectively with children; parent education needed to accompany the schooling for the children. Eastern Florida State College, sensitive to the needs of the community it serves, embraced the concept and responded with the Lab School Program.
In 1969, Mrs. Young and EFSC endorsed the emphasis on parent education and the parallel program for child and parent was in place. Later expansion in 1976, brought toddlers and infants into the program. There are presently multiple lab school locations in Brevard County. Some 7,500 children and approximately 14,000 parents have gone through this Life Education Program.
EFSC Lab School gives parents an opportunity to participate with and observe their children in an extended hands on family atmosphere, the laboratory as the name implies. The program consists of developmental daytime play sessions for parent and child, and night theory sessions for the parents. Lab School is for the parents who desire a special time: to share their genuine interest and enthusiasm with their child.
- Enable each child to become physically healthy, emotionally sound, mentally alert, and socially well adjusted.
- Help the child mature at his/her own pace
- Enable the child to control his/her own body through good coordination and muscular control
- Build a positive self-image in each child
- Help the child adjust to his/her environment
- Help the child develop trust in caring adults, the teacher, and other children
Advantages for Parents:
- Learn about yourself as a person
- Take an active role in your child’s school experience
- Have the benefit of learning with parents who have children near the same age
- Have an opportunity to consult with trained and qualified persons concerning yourself and your child’s development.
There are Programs for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers.