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BC3 open house to showcase on-campus preschool

A preschooler enrolled in the Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center on Butler County Community College’s main campus in Butler Township uses tongs to place tiny bears into color-coordinated cups Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. At left is Gina Rajchel, director of the center. BC3 will hold an open house for the 6,500-square-foot center from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 6 for parents or guardians seeking to enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in preschool in August. Photo courtesy of Butler County Community College.
Visitors can explore Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center, outdoor classroom

Butler County Community College will hold an open house March 6 to showcase its Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center to parents or guardians seeking to enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in preschool this coming August.

The open house is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the facility on BC3’s main campus in Butler Township.

Parents or guardians attending the open house can meet staff and tour the 6,500-square-foot facility and its Nature Explore-certified outdoor classroom.

The $2.3 million Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center opened in January 2018 and is licensed as a preschool by the state Department of Education. Construction of the facility was funded in part by a $1 million gift to the BC3 Education Foundation from John L. Wise III and family in 2015.

Preschoolers attending the Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center will learn art, literacy, mathematics, science and writing through project-based experiences, said Gina Rajchel, director of the center.

“We use an emergent curriculum,” Rajchel said, “which is a philosophy of teaching and a way of planning that focuses on being responsive to the children’s interests. The goal is to create meaningful learning experiences.”

The Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center’s architecture features navy, gray and light blue sails suspended from an 18-foot-high white ceiling; 8-foot tall, rough-hewn sliding pine barn doors; beige, ivory and wine-hued wedges of sandstone affixed to the base of planters; and an observation room from which parents or guardians can view preschoolers’ interactions with one another.

Preschoolers in the outdoor classroom can watch butterflies’ journey from caterpillars to chrysalis to brightly colored insects and explore musical instruments, gardens, a hillside slide, sandboxes, art areas and dirt-digging piles.

The outdoor classroom earned its national Nature Explore certification from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation.

Fall 2024 enrollment is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Children must be 3 to 5 years old and potty trained.

Registration is not required to attend the open house. For more information, visit bc3.edu/cclc.

Bill Foley is coordinator of news and media content at Butler County Community College.

The Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center opened on Butler County Community College’s main campus in Butler Township in January 2018 and is shown Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. BC3 will hold an open house for the 6,500-square-foot center from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 6 for parents or guardians seeking to enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in preschool in August. Photo courtesy of Butler County Community College
A preschooler enrolled in the Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center on Butler County Community College’s main campus in Butler Township practices scissor skills and strengthens fine-motor development and hand-eye coordination by cutting construction paper Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. BC3 will hold an open house for the 6,500-square-foot center from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 6 for parents or guardians seeking to enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in preschool in August. Photo courtesy of Butler County Community College
A preschooler enrolled in the Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center on Butler County Community College’s main campus in Butler Township explores with magnetic blocks and is shown through a doll house Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. BC3 will hold an open house for the 6,500-square-foot center from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 6 for parents or guardians seeking to enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in preschool in August. Photo courtesy of Butler County Community College
The Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center opened on Butler County Community College’s main campus in Butler Township in January 2018 and is shown Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. BC3 will hold an open house for the 6,500-square-foot center from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 6 for parents or guardians seeking to enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in preschool in August. Photo courtesy of Butler County Community College
The Amy Wise Children’s Creative Learning Center opened on Butler County Community College’s main campus in Butler Township in January 2018 and is shown Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. BC3 will hold an open house for the 6,500-square-foot center from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 6 for parents or guardians seeking to enroll 3- to 5-year-olds in preschool in August. Photo courtesy of Butler County Community College

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