Big Blue Marble Academy - Appreciation of All Cultures
With 14 locations around the Southeast, including 11 in South Carolina and five in the Midlands, Big Blue Marble Academy has been teaching and caring for thousands of children for many years.
The Big Blue Marble Academy located at 3912 Leaphart Road in West Columbia recently joined the Greater Lexington Chamber and celebrated its membership with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“BBMA is a cutting edge concept in early care and education,” said director Cheri Smith, who operates the West Columbia center. “We concentrate in preparing our children for the 21st century.”
The West Columbia BBMA employs 16 people, while companywide there are 210 employees, according to Smith, who has been a child care director for more than 35 years.
“We have Spanish immersion preschool, World Language enrichment, and Baby Signs,” she said. “We also have a technology room.”
Those programs reflect one of the company’s primary themes – increasing awareness of and appreciation for all cultures.
According to the company website, “At Big Blue Marble Academy we offer a safe, fun, and educational environment for children to grow and experience new and exciting things. We want to offer your child a ‘global education’ – one that prepares them for a world that becomes more interconnected every day, a world in which one city, one school, or even one family can boast the representation of several cultures.”
Big Blue Marble Academy is making progress in those areas in Lexington County, where the business located because owner Nan Rikard is a lifelong resident.
“We feel we are investing in the future of Lexington County. We are a part of caring and educating the next generation of leaders,” Smith said. “We will continue to concentrate on our curriculum and language immersion – soon to add Mandarin Enrichment.”
Big Blue Marble Academy offers many different, specialized programs, including an after-school program for school-aged children, and individualized programs for 0-12 months, 12-24 months, age 3 and age 4. The academy also operates summer camps.
According to Smith, the most gratifying aspect of the job is “the feeling of knowing that I have made a positive difference in a child’s life.”