Pioneering Susan Gray School at Vanderbilt University celebrates 35th anniversary

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ñ The Susan Gray School for Children will host a
series of events April 1-2 in celebration of the school’s 35th
anniversary. A part of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and Peabody
College, the school has been a focal point for research innovations and
a training ground for some of the nation’s most-renowned early
childhood educators.

Originally called the "Experimental School," the school was renamed in
1986 in honor of Susan Gray, a Peabody alumna and psychologist and
co-founder of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. Gray developed the Early
Training Project, an early childhood education program that inspired
Head Start.

An exhibit of photographs and publications celebrating the school’s
history, "The Legacy of Dr. Susan Gray: Inventing the Future," is on
display in the main lobby of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Monday
through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., through April 2. The exhibit is
one of a series by or about people with disabilities.

A panel discussion, "A History That Helped Invent the Future of Early
Childhood Special Education," will be held on Thursday, April 1, at 4
p.m. The panel will include Susan Gray School former and current
educators and researchers and a parent-advocate discussing professional
and personal experiences with early education. A reception will follow
the event.

Diane Bricker will deliver the celebration’s keynote lecture, "The Way
It Was and How It Might Be," at noon on Friday, April 2. Bricker is a
professor of special education at the University of Oregon. While at
the Susan Gray School in the early 1970s, Bricker and her husband,
William Bricker, developed the Toddler Research and Intervention
Project, where young children with and without disabilities learned
together. The project pioneered what came to be called "mainstreaming"
or "inclusion" and is now a nationally recommended practice for early
childhood educators.

Both the panel and lecture will take place at the Vanderbilt Kennedy
Center/ MRL Building Room 241 and are free and open to the public.

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development is a
national center for research on development and developmental
disabilities. For more information, contact Stephanie Comer at
615-322-8240 or visit the Kennedy Center website at

Media contact: Stephanie Comer, (615) 322-8240

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