Child care lab opens at Armstrong High School - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Child care lab opens at Armstrong High School

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Alexus Barbee enjoys playing with the children in the Armstrong Child Care Lab. She enjoys one baby in particular- her own child, nine-month old Kamyla.

"She is very playful. She's a good child," said Barbee.

Barbee brings Kamyla to the lab everyday at Armstrong High School, where the 17-year-old senior is a student. The district recently opened the lab as part of its campaign to reduce the number of high school drop outs.

According to the Virginia Department of Education, close to 500 students dropped out of school for various reasons last school year in the city of Richmond. A little over 100 were from Armstrong, so the child care lab was designed to help bring that number down- especially among students who are now parents.

"We have a lot of children who don't finish school because they have no one to care for their children. It is designed to teach the mothers how to be better mothers and to also instill some skills in the children even at their young age," said lab teacher Wenonah Washington.

There are nine babies in the lab, and every day, they are taught lessons by three teachers - all while their parents are also being taught lessons just a few doors down.

"Their children are somewhere safe. They are being cared for and taught at the same time. They can actually focus on their studies so that they can attain their high school diploma," said Washington.

Barbee says she plans to head to Virginia State or Virginia Union next year to continue her dream of becoming an attorney. However, she says without this child care lab, her senior year would have been filled worry and her dreams possibly postponed.

"Every day I would wonder who would be able to watch my child. I don't want to drop out of school. I didn't want to get an abortion, so it would have been kind of hard and tough for me," said Barbee.

The lab not only provides support Armstrong High School students who are parents. It will soon help the college students at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. They will be able to work in the lab and earn certification in early childhood education.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Depp's 'assassin' comments the latest in celebrity anger

    Depp's 'assassin' comments the latest in celebrity anger

    Thursday, June 22 2017 9:20 PM EDT2017-06-23 01:20:41 GMT
    Saturday, June 24 2017 11:32 AM EDT2017-06-24 15:32:47 GMT

    Johnny Depp wants to know the last time an actor assassinated a president.

    More >>

    Johnny Depp wants to know the last time an actor assassinated a president.

    More >>
  • Ferguson attorney: Brown family settlement $1.5 million

    Ferguson attorney: Brown family settlement $1.5 million

    Friday, June 23 2017 9:50 AM EDT2017-06-23 13:50:57 GMT
    Saturday, June 24 2017 11:12 AM EDT2017-06-24 15:12:34 GMT

    The city attorney in Ferguson, Missouri, says the city's insurance company paid $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of Michael Brown.

    More >>

    The city attorney in Ferguson, Missouri, says the city's insurance company paid $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of Michael Brown.

    More >>
  • King George County man killed in motorcycle crash

    King George County man killed in motorcycle crash

    Saturday, June 24 2017 10:56 AM EDT2017-06-24 14:56:10 GMT

    A King George County man has died, after police say the motorcycle he was riding, ran off the road. The crash happened around 11:10 p.m. Friday, at 8192 Passapatanzy Drive. That's just north of Sarah Jane Lane. Police say the motorcycle was traveling north on Passapatanzy Drive, when it ran off the road, flipping several times, throwing the man from the bike. The driver of the motorcycle, 32-year-old Thomas Deshazo, died at the scene. He was wearing a helmet. Officers say spee...

    More >>

    A King George County man has died, after police say the motorcycle he was riding, ran off the road. The crash happened around 11:10 p.m. Friday, at 8192 Passapatanzy Drive. That's just north of Sarah Jane Lane. Police say the motorcycle was traveling north on Passapatanzy Drive, when it ran off the road, flipping several times, throwing the man from the bike. The driver of the motorcycle, 32-year-old Thomas Deshazo, died at the scene. He was wearing a helmet. Officers say spee...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly