App State Programs Serving Young Children

Appalachian State University Child Development Center

Mission: Our mission is to lay a foundation for growth by facilitating learning, modeling positive behavior, and communicating with dignity and respect for all to create a nurturing and safe environment for our community of children, parents, student support staff, teachers, and greater  Appalachian community.

Philosophy: Children learn through play. Teachers facilitate learning by intentionally planning environments to engage children’s individual interests. Teachers are to be observers of, and partners in, children’s play. Learning is extended for children when they interact with their teachers and peers during free play in centers and in large and small group instruction. Observation is essential in identifying the interests of children and informing curriculum planning. We document children’s development through formal and informal observations to guide teacher support; challenging and reinforcing child learning.


Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country

A unique grant and donor supported community outreach program of the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University. With over 30 years of experience providing special needs information and programming to families and professionals, Parent to Parent High Country Family Support NetworkTM serves a seven county area, providing free and confidential services in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.

Mission Statement: We provide support, education and caring connections to families who: have children with diverse physical, emotional, intellectual or health needs; have a child born prematurely, or are grieving the loss of a child.


Thomas O. Eller Preschool Language Classroom

Children attend the PLC for four mornings per week (Monday-Thursday) from 8:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. They are involved in group activities such as story time, art, music, play, and snack time. The objective is to facilitate their communication skills during each of these activities in a natural setting. There is a special emphasis on emerging literacy skills and phonemic awareness with the goal of assisting these children with the development of reading and writing skills. In addition to the classroom activities, children have the opportunity to receive individual therapy sessions on a daily basis. Team coordination with local agencies such as the Children's Developmental Services Agency (CDSA), Watauga County Preschool Program, and Watauga County Schools also is part of the PLC.


  • To assist children in developing their communicative skills to the fullest potential;
  • To plan a program of treatment for each child based on individual strengths and needs using the Assessment Evaluation and Programming Systems (AEPS) and family involvement;
  • To offer opportunities for children to participate in emerging literacy and phonemic awareness activities in order to facilitate later reading and writing skills.