NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University’s Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center will hold its 10th anniversary celebration at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, in front of the ECRC, located at 2428 Raguet St. in Nacogdoches. The dedication of the Baker Pattillo Memorial Flagpole will be included in the celebration.

The ECRC opened its doors July 19, 2009, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, children’s singing performances and public tours. Ten years later, guests at the anniversary celebration will be treated to cake, cookies and beverages, as members of the Lumberjack Marching Band, Spirit Teams and choir perform. The event is free, and the public is invited.

“Throughout its decade of existence, the ECRC’s faculty and staff members have worked to improve the quality of life for children and families in East Texas by integrating teaching, research and dissemination of information,” said Lori Harkness, director of the Early Childhood Lab and campus coordinator for the charter school.

The facility is named in honor of Dr. Janice A. Pattillo, who retired from SFA in 2011 as a professor and chair of the Department of Elementary Education, after serving 42 years at the university. She is the wife of Dr. Baker Pattillo, who served as the university’s president from 2006 until his death Dec. 29, 2018.

The $30.8 million, 120,000-square-foot center houses the nationally accredited Early Childhood Laboratory and the SFA Charter School, where approximately 230 children, ranging from infants to fifth grade, are enrolled in education programs. Each fall and spring semester, more than 430 SFA students use the lab and charter school for observation, participation and other education purposes as they prepare to enter the workforce as teachers.

“Almost a century ago, SFA began as a teachers college,” Harkness said. “The research center has helped us build on SFA’s strong tradition of teacher preparation while expanding its research capacity. We are blessed to have this facility in Nacogdoches. It offers outstanding opportunities for SFA students to work firsthand with children, and it provides a place where families can bring their children to learn and grow.”

The dedication of the Baker Pattillo Memorial Flagpole will take place toward the beginning of the anniversary celebration, with SFA’s ROTC members presenting the colors and Harkness dedicating the flagpole in Pattillo’s honor. Afterward, attendees will join under the alumni association tent, located at the corner of Raguet and Hayter streets, for refreshments.

For more information about the event or charter school, contact Harkness at (936) 468-4006.