Washington Early Childhood Center (WECC) has received a grant to buy special equipment for the school's innovative new learning lab.
The grant was provided by the Healthy Schools OK nonprofit based in Oklahoma City.
The concept behind the lab program is to incorporate action into a lesson in a way that facilitates students' ability to learn the academic material. According to the Healthy Schools OK website, "Research has shown that action-based learning improves memory retention, reinforces academic concepts and balances brain chemicals." Students are guided through various stations – e.g., figure eight balance beams, stair steps and balance boards – all while working through an academic lesson.
WECC teachers Tabitha Carothers (first grade) and Alesa Murrow (PE) obtained the grant through attending various seminars and professional development sessions over the last four years. WECC Principal Shane Feely and Murrow went through a tough interview process, in addition to building evaluations, to receive the grant that funded the new learning lab. As a result of her efforts, Murrow has been named the Oklahoma State Coordinator of 2018.
Each classroom teacher will utilize the facility at least 40 minutes per week to maintain the grant. The action-based labs are considered an extension of the classroom; the labs will not compete for "in-classroom" academic time.