Students and staff celebrate 25th anniversary of Huggins Center at Fresno State

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State is celebrating an education milestone, the 25th anniversary of the Joyce Huggins Early Education Center.

It is one of three early child development centers at Fresno State serving hundreds of children each year.

Sammie Rouse, a mom of two, drives an hour and a half each day to make her classes at Fresno State, but she says the biggest challenge was being far away from her kids during classes.

"It was always something more time consuming if I had to drop the kids off where we live and then drive down here," explained Rouse. "It just added so much time."

Then she discovered the Huggins Center.

"My daughter's been here a full year and my youngest just started," said Rouse. "Without that, I wouldn't be able to just go to school when I need to."

It's been 25 years since the Huggins Center opened the doors to students of Fresno State providing education and childcare services to both students and staff.

"They teach them sign language, they teach them numbers, letters, colors," said Fresno State Student Ana Mora.

The center also provides valuable training and research opportunities for Fresno State students interested in education.

With specific programs geared toward toddlers, preschool and school-age children there truly is something for every young learner.

"He communicates to me with sign language," added Mora about her son. "Not every 2-year-old knows sign language."

The wide array of educational services are provided at minimal to no cost.

"It's free and it's here and they're teaching them so many things," said Mora. "Not only is it an early education program, they're here to help us. Thanks to them I'll be a 21-year-old with a bachelors in food science."

Staff and students will celebrate the Huggins Center's 25th anniversary Thursday evening with an event in front of the education building at Fresno State.
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