UMF receives Davis Family Foundation grant to help fund Sweatt-Winter Center Improvement Plan project

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FARMINGTON, ME  (June 6, 2019)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce it has received a $38,495 grant from the Trustees of the Davis Family Foundation for the UMF Sweatt-Winter Early Care and Education Center Improvement Plan project.

The grant will help fund a two-phase project for the Sweatt-Winter Center that will enhance the program and help renovate the Center’s new home located at 274 Front Street in Farmington.

“We are so appreciative to the Davis Family Foundation for their generous contribution to the advancement and continued success of the Sweatt-Winter Early Care and Education Center,” said Eric C. Brown, interim UMF president. “As Maine’s first institution of public higher education, UMF has always been at the forefront of providing for the next generation. High-quality childcare and early learning plays a critical role in a child’s development and is a valuable investment in families, communities and the state as a whole.”

Farmington building to be new home of UMF Sweatt-Winter Early Care and Education Center
Farmington building to be new home of UMF Sweatt-Winter Early Care and Education Center

The first phase of the project will concentrate on strengthening the existing program. Nature-based education and cutting edge, hands-on approaches designed around children’s interests and cooperative problem solving will be modeled extensively. The advancements will be supported with new curriculum materials, an art studio and enhanced indoor classrooms and outdoor play spaces. This phase of the grant will help support these advanced approaches to early learning by funding staff training and professional development.

Phase two of the project will begin the visioning process for a new center to expand program offerings to the local community. A partnership of UMF faculty, staff, students and community members, facilitated by an architect, will help design the new center to support innovative early childhood education and expand the number of children, families and students served. It will also serve as a site for teacher training and conferences.

“This is a very exciting time for early child care and education in Farmington,” said Patti Bailie, UMF assistant professor of early childhood education. “This project represents an innovative approach to early childhood education and care in Western Maine that will be a model for child-centered, nature-focused early education throughout New England. “

More on UMF Sweatt-Winter Center

Housed in the heart of the UMF campus, the Sweatt-Winter Center has provided full-time care and education to children in Franklin County for more than 30 years. The center offers a safe, nurturing environment for children ages 2 ½ to 8. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children—the world’s largest professional organization that sets and monitors standards for high quality early childhood education.

In addition, Sweatt-Winter serves as lab school for UMF education majors where best teaching practices are taught and demonstrated by onsite UMF faculty instructors. UMF pre-service teachers spend several hours a week at the center observing and learning from mentor teachers and getting an early introduction to working with young children and the classroom environment.

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EDITOR’S NOTE:
Image: RP189-003A
Photo Caption: Building to be new home of UMF Sweatt-Winter Early Care and Education Center
Photo Credit: UMF Image

April Mulherin
UMF Associate Director for Media Relations
office: 207-778-7081
cell: 207-491-0064
april.mulherin@maine.edu

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