HAYWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE

185 FREEDLANDER DRIVE

CLYDE, NORTH CAROLINA 28721

CONTACT: DEBBIE DAVIS

DIANA CONARD

PHONE: 627-4521

DATE: 05-29-03

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HCC ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR NEW REGIONAL MODEL CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Haywood Community College announced the start-up of a new Regional Model Child Development Center on the HCC campus at a breakfast information session on Friday, May 23.

Dr. Nathan Hodges, HCC President welcomed guests by explaining the challenge of guiding and shaping change for the future. Hodges said, "We begin with our very youngest by giving them the best start we can possibly provide. Nothing we can do and nothing we can invest in has a greater impact on tomorrow than an investment in our children." He stated that a main goal of the new model center will be to make parenting a central and essential part of it. "The future is something we can touch through our children," Hodges said. "It can become our legacy—to enrich lives and create a better future."

Robert Cathey, Chair of the HCC Trustees, says the center will be a way to help young children develop to their fullest potential.

Dr. Olson Huff, of The Ruth and Billy Graham Children’s Health Center at Mission St. Joseph’s Health System in Asheville, NC, said how important it is to hold children in our hands. "It is our blessing, our responsibility," he explained. "Parents expect them to be in safe places where their souls are nurtured and their creativity is encouraged." The new center will be a host for this activity.

Robert Taylor, an area businessman and entrepreneur, announced that he and his wife will leave their estate to Haywood Community College to support the new child development center. Taylor and his wife want their estate to make a positive impact on a large number of people. "When I heard about the plans for the new Regional Model Child Development Center, I knew we had found what we were looking for," he said.

Larry Leatherwood, who spent 22 years as an elementary school principal, is Chair of the HCC Foundation’s Capital Campaign to raise $1 million for completion of the center. The total cost of the center is $3.5 million. The remainder of the funds will come from grants, private foundations, business and industry partnering agencies, and individual contributions.

The new Regional Model Child Development Center will offer evening and after school programs. The 20,300 square foot center will serve 163 children, including 24 much needed spaces for infants. The center will provide distance educational opportunities for childcare professionals across the county and region, as well as provide a model teaching facility for the training of childcare workers. It will also be a family resource for counseling and training in parenting and family issues. Situated on the HCC campus, the center is designed to foster growth and creativity while drawing upon the beauty of its natural surroundings.

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