LOUISA COUNTY, Va. - Learning from a book is great, but hands-on experience in what you're learning is even better.
The Little Lions Learning Lab is an innovative daycare in Louisa that’s helping current teachers and training new ones.
It was a big selling point for teacher Karen Redd. She taught in Albemarle for 12 years before accepting a teaching job at Louisa High School.
"One of my biggest concerns was daycare or preschool for (my son). And in the interview, I found out about the school and that was a big selling point for me," she said.
Little Lions not only provides education and care for three and four-year-old children of Louisa County school employees, it gives students like Jordan, in the school’s Teacher Training Academy, exposure to the child-care field.
"I grew up around a lot of kids with special-needs so it's always been a passion”, says Jordan. “Teaching has been another passion, so I'm kind of combining the two."
Jordan will be attending Longwood University this fall pursuing a degree in special education.
“It helped me further my passion in teaching and gives me experience before I heard off to college and pay a whole lot. It gives insight on what you would be doing as a teacher."
Louisa Schools Superintendent Doug Straley says number one, it helps retain quality teachers by providing affordable daycare.
"Two, it's a great way for us to build a pipeline of teachers right back here to Louisa County. To dabble in, 'Do I want to be a teacher?' and be able to get that experience and go off to college; obtain their teaching license, and then hopefully come right back here to Louisa."
Little Lions says it plans to run the program this fall with some modifications to ensure the safety of children, students, and staff.
Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs every Wednesday at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on CBS 6 and is sponsored by Virginia Family Dentistry.
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