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Spadoni College of Education receives financial support for its early childhood lab school

February 26, 2018
Ed, Billie and Jay Shelley

The family of the late Peggy S. Shelley of Garden City Beach has made a significant donation to the Coastal Carolina University Spadoni College of Education. The gift, given jointly by Dr. and Mrs. B. Ed Shelley Jr., Dr. and Mrs. Jay S. Shelley, and their father, Billie E. Shelley, will establish the Peggy S. Shelley Early Childhood Lab School. The gift supports the University’s I’M IN endowment campaign, which has a goal of increasing CCU’s endowment $20 million by 2020. To date, more than $17 million has been raised. Learn more about the campaign at I'M IN.

The lab school will be housed in the Early Childhood Development and Literacy Center in Kingston Hall. Scheduled to open this fall, the center will serve approximately 120 children ages 3 to 5 years old, and will include five literacy rooms, four classrooms and an outdoor playground. Children in the lab school will learn Spanish and English in the project-based kindergarten and preschool. CCU’s early childhood education and elementary program will also offer an after-school program weekdays from 2:30 to 6 p.m.

“The Shelley family’s generosity will allow the college to further advance and develop our Early Childhood Development and Literacy Center,” said Edward Jadallah, dean of the Spadoni College of Education. “Pre-service teachers in CCU’s early childhood and elementary education programs will have the opportunity to be involved in the center’s activities through varied practicum experiences and an internship. Also, graduate students and faculty will have teaching and research opportunities through the early childhood development and literacy programs.”

According to Jadallah, child development is closely connected to literacy education, and the establishment of a center that serves both of these areas will be extremely beneficial for the University and regional community.

“Meeting children’s developmental needs, as well as providing opportunities for pre-service teachers’ experiential learning and professional opportunities for research and scholarship, is essential for the continued growth of the College of Education,” Jadallah said. “CCU will continue to be a hub for literacy and early child education.”

Ed Shelley says his family proudly supports Coastal because of a basic family philosophy: “It is much more satisfying to give than to receive.”

“Our family is from Spartanburg, but I have lived in Horry County for 35 years,” Shelley said. “My dad and brother spend a lot of time here as well, so Coastal is now our local college that we support. We feel CCU is a great asset to this community not just because it is a wonderful institute of higher education, but it adds a necessary component of diversity to this area. This diversity grounds our community by offering a stimulating university environment that, along with the other assets that Horry County is blessed with, makes our area a shining light in this region, state and nation.

“My mother felt strongly that reading was a basic art that we all must really master. She taught school and volunteered in educational programs that advanced children’s learning. My family’s sincere hope is that through this learning center, students and children both will understand the importance of education in our society and that somehow, in some small way, Peggy Shelley would continue her lifelong quest to promote the learning process.”

Four full-time instructors will be hired for the center’s four classrooms that will have a maximum of 20 children enrolled in each level. In addition, students in CCU’s elementary and early childhood education programs will have the opportunity to gain hands-on clinical experiences through the program, which will offer innovative techniques for future teachers. The center will also provide options for faculty, staff and students to have their children on campus for education and development.

The facility will have a video system with internet connection for observation and teaching purposes.