The city of Chattanooga’s Department of Youth & Family Development and the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, celebrated the opening of a new STEAM (Science, Tech, Education, Arts and Math) Lab, I.AM.READY Resource Center, supporting teens in foster care, and a newly redesigned gym on 12th street on Wednesday.
City officials, the Partnership, and Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services Commissioner James Henry, cut the ribbon of opportunity, opening the doors to the public, and showcasing the new programs and centers.
YFD showcased a new lab, bringing elements of science, technology, education, arts and math to the youngest of students, who enroll or are currently enrolled in Head Start and YFD child care programs. The lab will bring the growing trend of STEM programs, to the students, adding elements of art. The lab is fitted with several computers, hands on projects and will become a part of creating smarter students.
“A child’s brain develops at its fastest rate between birth and three years old.” says Jason McKinney, YFD education coordinator. “Our lab and its programs will give every youth, the head start they need for continued success, and serve as a critical part of early childhood education.”
Partnership’s I.AM.READY Independent Living Resource Center, a first of its kind, will provide services to teens aging out of foster care. The program will provide financial readiness, life/social skills, health education and mentorship to older teens.
“We are proud to be the lead agency on this initiative, “says Jack Parks, director of Youth Services with Partnership. “We hope that this will become a national model that agencies can follow, serving thousands of teens well into their adult life.”
Youngsters ready to release balloons.