The West Virginia University Child Development Laboratory (Nursery School), a unit of the Learning Sciences and Human Development Department of the College of Education and Human Services, is designed to provide observational and practicum experiences for University students majoring in child development and family studies, curriculum and instruction, and other related fields.
A Brief History of the Nursery School
The Child Development Laboratory was established in 1944 under the auspices of the Division of Home Economics in the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics. The purpose of the school was to provide observation and practicum experiences for future parents and preschool teachers, and for food and nutrition students.
The founder and director was Karina Thure Wood. The school was located in the Home Economics Home Management House on Willey Street and served children from two and a half years of age who attended from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There was a playroom, dining area, nap room, and a large play yard. Students constructed much of the equipment as class projects. During this period (World War II), one of the course objectives for students was to understand the impact of war on the lives of children.
In 1950, the Lab moved to a roomy house on Price Street. The purpose remained the same, but the ages of children changed to 3, 4, and 5-year-olds. Gladys Ayersman became director in 1954 and served until 1967.
In 1963, the Lab moved again to a house on Campus Drive. The program changed to accommodate two part-day sessions serving two age groups (3 and-4-year-olds). In 1978, the Lab moved to Rawley Lane, and since 1980, Dr. Bobbie Warash has been the Director. The new state-of-the-art building in Krepps Park (pictured below) was opened in 2009. Throughout this rich history, Dr. Warash continues to be an advocate for preschool children and their families throughout the state.