By Jobeth Devera
Metro families and children put the final building blocks of success together Wednesday morning as the Learning Community Center of North Omaha opened its doors.
"Early childhood education is extremely important and this is the building that will help get that done," councilman Ben Gray said.
The unique interactive experience sits at the corner of 24th and Franklin streets. Infant and toddler rooms are wired with cameras, which are then connected to a college classroom in the same building. The idea is to train future early childhood and elementary teachers.
"I can pull out the screens in the classroom, and then we can have the students see what's going on in analyzing teacher behaviors, teacher techniques and methods," early childhood education instructor Kathy Halverson-Rigatuso said.
Students don't have to just sit and watch the TV; they can walk straight down the hall and get hands-on practice themselves.
The college students are watched and critiqued by instructors.
"They could see through modeling what are the important techniques you should use and how to use them within the classroom," Halverson-Rigatuso said.
City leaders said this new community center makes sure that children are starting out with the best possible care.
"It's something that's been a long time coming, and I think it's a model way to begin to teach," Gray said.
Metro Community College, Creighton University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha will begin teaching classes at the center this month.
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