Bright and early at 6:30 every morning, Director Marilynn Kitt stands at the front doors of Sala Learning and Development Center, located on Fairview Commons Drive, to greet the arriving children and parents.
According to Kitt, children operate on daily routines, so she makes the extra effort to oversee the operations at the early development center, helping make sure they are getting the attention they need, with minimal distractions.
“Although I do regularly check on them, I support our teachers and care providers in their classes,” said Kitt, who was a former pre-kindergarten teacher in the program for the last four years before getting the offer to fill the director position. “I would go to a lot of these classes to give the teachers a hand and assist them in whatever they needed, whether to attend to the children’s personal, bathroom and teaching needs.”
Sometimes, Kitt is also seen helping with kitchen duties, serving some of the children their meals and maintaining a close relationship with them.
Along with the Covington facility, there is also a Decatur center, located on 2939 Midway Rd. Both facilities offer similar programs for parents and children.
Sala operates under the guidelines of Bright From The Start, a state agency responsible for meeting Georgia children’s early education needs. The facility’s classes also incorporate teaching criteria from Creative Curriculum and the Georgia Early Learning Standards. The facility is licensed by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
The children, from six weeks to 4-year-olds, are split into five groups: Inchworms for six-week-old infants to 14 months; Turtles for children 15 months to 23 months; Butterflies for 2- to 3-year-olds; Bumblebees for 3- to 4-year-olds; and Georgia pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds and older (or before Sept. 1). There is also an ‘explorers’ division, an afterschool and summer camp program aimed at children within school ages.
The facility offers tours for parents interested in enrolling their infants and toddlers in the program. Parents are encouraged to get a strong feel for the center before making a decision.
“Most people don’t realize that we’re not babysitters,” said Kitt. “We are educators helping to develop our children.”
The Learning Center will host a luncheon for children and parents on Nov. 17 at 11:30 a.m. Families are invited to join the teachers and continue their relationship with the center.