Early Childhood Education

MWCC ECE Week of the Young Child Art Exhibit

Early Childhood Education faculty, students, alumni , Garrison Center students and area child care centers celebrated Week of the Young Child with an art exhibit and reception on April 14.

For the ninth consecutive year, Mount Wachusett Community College’s Early Childhood Education Department, MOC Head Start, students, teachers and most importantly, preschool children, have adorned the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education with creations in celebration of the annual Week of the Young Child.

This year, the exhibit combined art, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, to tie in with the MWCC’s Humanities Initiative focused on the writer and naturalist.

To date, MWCC students have completed a combined 300 hours of service learning to make the event a success. Guests visited the center throughout the day on April 14, and were amazed at the imagination, ingenuity and creativity that children’s art represents. In the afternoon and evening parents, grandparents, friends and important others joined the children for an open house with Early Childhood students supporting the teachers and offering guided tours of the artwork. Additionally, accepted students in Early Childhood and Elementary Education were invited to join the festivities and learn more about the academic program.

“It certainly is a tremendous amount of work for all those involved, but when we have the opportunity to see the joy on the faces of our youngest members and hear them explain complicated pieces in the simplest of terms to those around them, we know why we are passionate about our art show,” said ECE Professor Maureen Provost.

“At the end of the day it is about the children, their families and their lives. I am thrilled to be part of their journey and excited to see what their futures hold. Thank you to anyone who was a part of this experience!”

This year’s event was sponsored by: the MWCC Early Childhood Education Department; children and teachers at the Garrison Center; MOC Childcare and Head Start Services; the Early Childcare Education Club; service learning students from Early Childhood and Elementary Education; the MWCC Humanities Project, funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities; and MWCC’s Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau

Early Childhood Education alumni with Professors Rosanne Morel, Maureen Provost and Maryann Kane during the reunion.

Nearly 100 alumni, students and faculty of MWCC’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program gathered November 19 at the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education to celebrate the ECE program’s annual alumni gathering. The theme for this year’s event was Planting the seed of leadership in others. Harvesting the leadership in yourself.

“We love our fall alumni event. Our students plan and create an educational and inviting service learning event. This gives them a feeling for the importance of planning and hosting events that welcome families and community members” said Associate Professor Maureen J. Provost. “We are excited to see our alumni and hear about their important work in early education and the positive impact they have on children and families’ lives! It is wonderful to welcome them back to where they began their careers” Provost added.

“I love coming back here, because everything started here,” said 2011 graduate and former Student Trustee Chrissy Lajoie, who has since earned a bachelor’s degree from Fitchburg State University and is now working with toddlers and families as an early intervention specialist in Worcester.

“It’s such a great feeling, when you come back here, even though I graduated 20 years ago,” said Maria Paulino, owner of Busy Bees preschool in Fitchburg. “You come back and feel like you’re home.” Paulino, a 1988 graduate of MWCC, also went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Fitchburg State. Nine years ago, she purchased the long-established Busy Bees preschool, which serves 50 children with a staff of eight that includes other MWCC alumni she has hired.

In addition to the alumni reunion, students from the Home, School and Community Relations and Leadership in Early Education courses showcased their fall semester projects, highlighting important information for families and communities. This essential service learning project is focused on deepening students’ understanding of serving others.