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Dressed in tiny ties and sparkly dresses, dozens of four-year-old students from Fonwood Early Childhood Center stood before a crowded cafeteria and sang in celebration of the dedication of their new school.
The students are among the first to attend classes in the new early childhood facility, which opened this school year and was specifically designed to enhance the educational experience of the district’s youngest learners.
On Wednesday, the school was ready for a celebration with the cafeteria decked out in the school colors of green and yellow with shiny gold balloons spelling out the school’s name hanging center stage.
“Today is an unforgettable day for the Fonwood family,” said Principal Dr. Kimberly Agnew-Borders. “The legacy of this community starts here with our youngest learners.”
The 89,000-square-foot facility features 29 classrooms, three outdoor learning areas, a music learning center, science and literacy labs, extended learning areas, and a learning commons. Each hallway incorporates vibrant interior colors, lots of windows for plenty of natural light, and extended learning areas.
Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones applauded the efforts of the principal, as well as the teachers, parents, and community members, all of whom came together to help the school move into its new building last August.
“It took a lot of patience for us to transition from one facility to another, but I think when we walk around this facility and look at it, it was well worth it,” Skillern-Jones said. “This work, I hope, will go on and continue to educate not just this generation of students, but many generations of students to come.”
Chief School Officer Julia Dimmitt, who oversees the feeder pattern in which Fonwood is located, echoed the trustee’s sentiments, adding that she was thrilled for the school to finally have its new building.
“Thank you, again, to the community for all of your support,” Dimmitt said. “This is a beautiful building.”
In addition to Skillern-Jones and Dimmitt, several other dignitaries also were in attendance, including representatives from the offices of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and State Rep. Senfronia Thompson.
Fonwood parent Flerida Ramirez said she was pleased with the ceremony and happy that her children are enjoying the new building.
“The kids love coming to school now,” Ramirez said. “They love that their new school is bigger and prettier.”
Tachala Lewis, whose daughter will attend Fonwood’s Pre-K4 program next year, said she is looking forward to all the resources that will be available to her daughter through the school.
“The teachers are very patient and good with the kids,” Lewis said. “It’s a big opportunity for her.”