FLORENCE – Frances B. Roberts of Bishopville has been appointed child care director for the Gail and Terry Richardson Center for the Child at Francis Marion University, effective July 1.
“We took our time selecting a director because we wanted to find the optimal fit,” FMU President Fred Carter said. “From the standpoint of education, experience and applied expertise, she represents that person.”
Roberts has been coordinator in Florence School District One for Even Start, a Child Development Education Pilot Program, for the past two years. There she developed and implemented family literacy programs that enable preschool children to enter school ready to succeed.
“I think this (the Gail and Terry Richardson Center for the Child) is probably one of the most exciting things I’ve had an opportunity to work with,” Roberts said. “I’m thrilled about the future of the center.”
Roberts will be responsible for heading the center that will serve 100 preschool children ages infant to five years. The center will also be a training facility for FMU students in early childhood education, psychology, nursing and a site for research and community services. She will direct and plan all activities and programs associated with the center and develop and implement educational programs, curricula and activities.
To her credit, Roberts has already set up and operated early childhood and family literacy programs for Lee County School District, where she was employed from 1981 to 2005. While there, she was an early childhood development teacher, a parenting and family literacy coordinator and an early childhood coordinator.
Roberts wrote and implemented a strategic plan for early childhood in Lee County School District and an Even Start Grant which received the highest scoring in the state among those written.
“I think what makes her ideal for the position is that she has years of experience in early childhood education and has created several programs in the Pee Dee for family literacy,” said John R. Hester, director of the Gail and Terry Richardson Center for the Child. “She is a dedicated educator who is both well-organized and hardworking.”
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