Caption: Children at Allan Hancock College’s Children’s Center, like Christian Wiebe, prepare thank you gifts for an upcoming dedication ceremony. The college will rename its center the Orfalea Children’s Center Lab School at Allan Hancock College in recognition of the Orfalea Foundation’s support. Since 2013, the foundation has awarded more than $1 million to the college’s early childhood studies program and children’s center.

Caption: Children at Allan Hancock College’s Children’s Center, like Christian Wiebe, prepare thank you gifts for an upcoming dedication ceremony. The college will rename its center the Orfalea Children’s Center Lab School at Allan Hancock College in recognition of the Orfalea Foundation’s support. Since 2013, the foundation has awarded more than $1 million to the college’s early childhood studies program and children’s center.

Allan Hancock College will host a special dedication ceremony on Thursday, July 28, at 1 p.m. at the Children’s Center Lab in building I. The center will be renamed the Orfalea Children’s Center Lab School at Allan Hancock College.

The dedication is in recognition of the more than $1 million in grants the Orfalea Foundation has awarded Hancock’s early childhood studies program and the Children’s Center Lab since 2013. The grants, including a $785,000 five-year grant awarded in 2015, have allowed the college to provide innovative classrooms, curriculum and facilities.

The name change will represent the college and Orfalea Foundation’s partnership and shared vision for quality early childhood education and care.

The ceremony will include the unveiling of a sign which incorporates the center’s existing logo, which was created by one of the center’s children more than 40 years ago. Current children who attend the center will participate in the ceremony by singing and personally thanking Orfalea Foundation representatives.

The event is by invitation only because the childcare facility is a secured building.

The Orfalea Foundation focused on three early childhood education initiatives: the outdoor classroom project, healthy food and healthy habits initiative and the accreditation support program. The grant will ensure all three initiatives will continue to be embedded in core ECS curriculum for future teachers.

Hancock’s children center lab provides care for infants and preschoolers between three months and five years of age. The center serves as the lab school for Early Childhood Studies students who assist the credentialed staff in providing an enriched learning environment designed to foster social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth for young children.