By Selena Stevens
college will prepare the next generation of professionals
who will work with families and children, policy makers
and service providers to improve the lives of Kentuckians."
Dean Retia Walker,
UK College of Human Environmental Sciences
The University of Kentucky College of Human Environmental
Sciences today accepted the first donation and officially
kicked off a $1.4 million fund-raising campaign to
support a new early childhood development and family
center at today. UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. and
Human Environmental Sciences Dean Retia Walker accepted
a $50,000 gift from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
Mensah, a member of the R.J. Reynolds board, presented
the gift on behalf of the company. Mensah also serves
on the college's board of volunteers, a group that
assists the college with development goals.
from UK's Early Childhood Lab made a special musical
presentation, and students and faculty from the Department
of Family Studies also participated.
"The Commonwealth of Kentucky has identified early
childhood development as a top priority, and the University
of Kentucky is poised to provide professional development
leadership in implementing the state's 20-year Comprehensive
Early Childhood Plan. Our college will prepare the
next generation of professionals who will work with
families and children, policy makers and service providers
to improve the lives of Kentuckians," Dean Walker
the state's flagship institution of higher education,
UK must be able to model cutting-edge programs in
a state-of-the-art facility for research, teaching
and service. We are grateful that the business community
also understands that children and families are important
and is willing to help us with this fund development
priority. We are pleased that R.J. Reynolds is helping
us begin our fund-raising drive."
proposed 32,000-square-foot building will house the
HES Early Childhood Lab, UK Family Center, the Research
Center for Families and Children and the Department
of Family Studies, as well as a distance-learning
lab and several educational clinics. By housing these
programs in one facility, UK will be able to more
conveniently offer a range of services for families
and children, while providing a more integrated educational
and research environment for students and faculty.
Early Childhood Lab provides preschool, full-day infant/toddler
and Early Start programs for Fayette County children
and also serves as a teacher training and research
facility for UK students and educators.
The Research Center for Families and Children investigates
numerous issues related to families and children,
from program evaluations and need assessments to basic
and applied research and secondary data analysis.
the Family Center, master's degree students and faculty
in the marriage and family therapy program provide
therapy for clients. The distance-learning lab will
allow students and faculty to connect with all 120
counties across Kentucky, viewing model programs,
learning from a variety of educators and professionals
and sharing new research and teaching techniques with
field professionals. Home child-care providers, professional
child-care and preschool staff and educators across
the state will be able to access continuing education
programs through the lab.
"Audio and video conferencing technology will have
statewide impact to help prepare high-quality professionals
who work with children and families," Walker said.
campus location for the new building will be selected
once the money has been raised, Walker said.