CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – They cut a ribbon this morning on the campus of Rutgers University in Camden for the new Early Learning Research Academy.

It’s far more than a run-of-the-mill day care center.

More than five dozen infants, toddlers, and preschoolers have already been attending for about a month now.

It was founded by Prof. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, also the founder of the LEAP Academy to which these kids will go when they start kindergarten.

“As much as we’re teaching them, we’re studying them — their behavior — so we can collect information and produce what I call better outcomes for school readiness,” she explained today.

In fact, she says, the goal is to have these children complete their entire educational lives through this system, all the way through Rutgers University.

Spots in the academy are so coveted that parents enter their kids at birth in a lottery, and more than 500 names were entered in the one that resulted in this inaugural class.

Most of the $4 million cost to open this facility was raised through private donations.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060



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