The Lett family engages with teacher Elizabeth Mayfield from the SIUE Early Childhood Center during the fall welcome event.EDWARDSVILLE - The Early Childhood Center (ECC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides full-day, year-round early childhood care and education for children of students, faculty, staff, and others in the University community, ages two through five.

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In October, the ECC hosted a Fall 2021 Family Welcome Event, allowing families and children involved in the center to play games, eat food and relax while getting to know each other better for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the ECC’s fall welcome event, Diane Rogers, grandmother of Yara Dorsey, played a Hand Pan Drum, and let the kids try it, too.ECC student Jaiden Hayes plays soccer during an outdoor gathering.“This outdoor event offered a safe way for parents to engage with each other and our ECC teachers and leaders, as well as have the opportunity meet their kids’ school playmates,” said Lealia Williams, ECC family support specialist.

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The event provided gross motor activities for the children, including a bean bag toss, dancing to music with scarfs, an obstacle course, and soccer. And, the grandmother of ECC student Yara Dorsey played a Hand Pan Drum. At the end of the night, all students were able to take home a pumpkin.

“The ECC has been a perfect fit for our son,” shared Robin Fultz, ECC parent. “We love the Center’s emphasis on nature education and its proximity to all of the amenities on campus. We really value the teachers' supportive, child-centered approach.

“The welcome event provided a great opportunity to meet other families and connect with our son’s current and former teachers. After not being able to take part in this type of event last year, it made us even more appreciative to attend.”

To learn more about the ECC, visit or call 618-650-2556.

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