A new 2,500 square foot facility is filled with 20 pre-schoolers enjoying the latest in educational toys and games at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant's Child Development Center. The pre-school classroom, which opened in June, was added on to the day care center at a cost of $500,000.

Along with the new classroom are new toys and games, all developmentally appropriate for the pre-schoolers. The Army paid for all of the equipment which included toys, mats, shelves and games.

On the first day of use, the 20 children were reminded to take care of their new toys. "I plan to play with them nice and don't break toys"never!" exclaimed Danny Pierce, 5.

"We've got to take care of them," said Kelsie Harden, 4.

The two teachers assigned, Amy Williamson and Heather Clay, have associate degrees in childhood development. Each teacher produces a weekly lesson plan with learning objectives that enhance the pre-schoolers' activities which include music, reading, math, art and "free choice" time.

"Free choice" is where each child can choose what they want to do and it's during this time that Williamson and Clay can spend one-on-one time with the children which is what Williamson loves the most.

"Small group activity gives me the chance to work one-on-one with the kids to see where they are developmentally," she said. Williamson has worked with children for 12 years and has been at the development center for two years.

Clay, who has been at the development center since March, enjoys watching the children during art "because I can see their creative side and see what they really like to do," she said.