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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Opening of Lew Williams center delayed again



The Pinellas County School District's first early childhood center won't open in January after all.

District officials, who already delayed the opening once, announced this week that the Lew Williams Center for Early Learning now is scheduled to open in August 2014 - a full year later than originally planned. Construction delays were the reason behind the first date change. It's not entirely clear what has caused the second. (We'll be talking to the school district about it this week.)

See what the district wrote about it here.

The Lew Williams center is expected to offer full-time day care services to low-income children, ages 1 to 4. It supposed to open with eight classrooms and room for 107 children. The center was named for Lew Williams, a board member who died in Dec. 2011. He owned a daycare and was an advocate for early childhood education.

Pinellas County Schools has been trying to get more involved in early childhood education efforts because many of its kindergarten students aren't entering school prepared. So far, the district hasn't made much progress in that effort. It lost its bid to run the county's Head Start program earlier in the year, and now the center's opening has been delayed a year.

The Lew Williams center, it should be noted, is a multi-agency effort, involving the Early Learning Coalition, Head Start, the R'Club and the Juvenile Welfare Board. 

[Last modified: Thursday, December 19, 2013 11:03am]


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