FLORENCE, S.C. – Nearly 100 people came out Thursday to dedicate the R. N. Beck Child Development Center.

The center, located on Sumter Street, was named in honor of Dr. R. N. Beck Sr., who was a doctor in Florence.

District employees, former Carver Elementary School students and future R. N. Beck students filled the multipurpose room for the ribbon cutting. The board of trustees and four R. N. Beck students cut the ribbon.

Board member E.J. McIver, in his remarks during the ceremony, thanked all of the groups who had a hand in finishing the R. N. Beck Center, which he called a state-of-the-art, exceptional environment for children.

“We’ve done a good job in this,” McIver said.

McIver cited the benefits of early childhood education, saying that it increases cognitive skills, strengthens the economy and enhances the workforce.

“Early childhood education is one of the best investments in the world we can make,” McIver said.

Florence City Councilwoman Teresa Myers Ervin said the ribbon cutting reflects the efforts of the Northwest Florence neighborhood community council, the city of Florence, the NAACP and Florence One Schools Board of Trustees. She said she is proud of the collaboration in the community to build the R. N. Beck Center.

“Because of the action of everyone involved, we can actually now give our children a head start into the future,” Myers Ervin said.

After the ribbon cutting, remarks and school dedication, people toured the child development center.

The Florence One Schools Board of Trustees meeting took place after the ceremony. The board approved financial statements, board minutes and a personnel sheet.

Floyd Creech, the director of school readiness, told the board about the R. N. Beck Center during the superintendent’s update.

“It’s been a tiring, tiring summer, but we’ve gotten a lot of support,” Creech said.

Creech said one-third of the children at R.N. Beck are exceptional learners, or children with special needs. The center has three Montessori and HighScope classes and there is a sensory room. Creech said eventually a garden and a nature trail will be added to the school.

“I want to thank you for having the foresight to have the new equipment to really make sure that this place looks in top shape; it’s only because you funded it,” Creech said.

Board member Trisha Caulder thanked Creech for being an innovative thinker. Caulder called Creech a “jewel” to the district.

“Our child-care system in this school district would not be where it is had it not been for Floyd Creech,” Caulder said. “His vision is phenomenal.”

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