Sam Odom

Sam Odom: Hometown Hero

Sam Odom is Friday’s Hometown Hero. Sam is the director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. About the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute: “The mission of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) is to enhance the lives of children and families through interdisciplinary research, technical assistance, professional development, and implementation science. FPG generates knowledge, informs policies, and supports practices to promote positive developmental and educational outcomes for children of all backgrounds and abilities from the earliest years.” Find out more about the institute and their upcoming events. The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute...

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Frank Porter Graham Child Care Center Is Closing After 47 Years

CHAPEL HILL-In the 1970s, a landmark child development study conducted by UNC researchers called for the start of a child care center. 47 years later, that center still exists- but it’s in its final year. About 2 miles from the UNC campus where undergraduates attend classes daily, teachers are taking care of much younger students. Those students range in age from 6 weeks to 5 years, and 25-30% have identified disabilities. They’re learning things like language and social skills at the Frank Porter Graham Child Care Center. The center is located at UNC’s Child Development Institute, but soon, the hallways and rooms that are filled with toys and colorful art projects will be converted to office space. At the end of this school year, the 47-year-old center will close. “It will be depressing in a way that the kids won’t be running around,” says speech pathology graduate student Christin Hopp. She’s one of many UNC students who have been able to intern there. “I’ve learned a lot about therapy in classes…and coming to FPG, I’ve been able to apply those in the classroom.” The closing was announced in 2011, giving families and staff 2 years to prepare. For Institute Director Sam Odom, the decision to close was a challenging but necessary. “It was a hugely difficult decision to come to,” he says. When Odom became director in 2006, the center cost...

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