The Children's Enrichment Center (CEC) is an EEC (Early Education and Care) state licensed program and has been accredited by the NAEYC (National Accreditation for the Education of Young Children) for a second five year accreditation. The Center has been in operation since 2000 providing programs in early education and learning and after school enrichment.
Children's Enrichment Center (CEC) is a learning center developed to help families, by providing safe and quality preschool through after school programs for children ages three through twelve (pre-k to 6th grade). We use an innovative theme-based curriculum that supports the intellectual growth of children and provide children opportunities for creative expression.
Our Center is a unique learning environment that incorporates "studio workshops," where the children have space to do various activities. CEC uses a holistic approach (including the whole child) to teach children academics and cultural enrichment through its creative programs in reading, writing, art, technology, languages and movement and music.
The Children's Enrichment Center provides a "creative learning experience" through its teaching practices. We have developed a hands-on-approach to learning that incorporates both the intellect and creative abilities of each child. We also incorporate the Creative Curriculum approach to learning which believes that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn’t just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in. In a child's early years, they explore the world around them by using all their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling and looking).
It is our goal to help children become independent, self-confident and inquisitive learners. We teach them how to become life-long learners by developing both good personal habits and study habits. It is not just enough to be smart but children need to develop good character and citizenship. This is accomplished when children form a positive attitude about themselves which they will carry throughout their lives.
The curriculum identifies and works to develop learning on all levels including social, emotional, cognitive and physical, encompassing the whole child. Each classroom has areas to help children explore and develop which include a, Library/Writing Center, Table Activities, Blocks/Building Area, Sand and Water Play, Art & Creative Space, and Dramatic Play Corner. These class centers provide the backdrop for children to explore their creativity and provide a continuous space for them to gain knowledge about the world they live in.
In November of 1998, Brenda Barrett founded WEOI (Women’s Educational Outreach, Inc.) in response to the state's need for youth literacy programs. WEOI was inspired to develop youth literacy programs after Massachusetts published the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test scores. The test results demonstrated that there existed a serious demand for literacy programs that focused on the needs of school age children.
WEOI developed two weekly literacy programs for children and families. The first program, "Family Reading Night", was a program that met one night a week and included either entire families or individual children, who participated in the program. The program used a thematic approach consisting of storytelling, arts and craft activities, writing skills, and peer sharing. The program generally ran for twelve weeks and concluded with a Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) book distribution and certificates for the participating children. The "Family Reading Night" program sponsored by a nonprofit agency, in collaboration with WEOI, was supported by volunteers and funded from a D.O.E. (Department of Education) grant.
The second program, "Stories for Girls Literacy Project," brought together girls ages 9-12 and provided a forum for them to read and share books about young girls similar in age. Weekly sessions included discussion groups, introduction to writing skills, story activity sheets, and interviewing techniques. The goal of the program, which encouraged self-esteem, assisted the participants in writing personal narratives and a group book about their experiences. The program limited to 10 girls per session came together once a week for two hours. The "Stories for Girls Literacy Project" offered at existing community agencies was funded by a Community Grant initiative secured by Brenda Barrett from the AAUW (American Association of University Women).
D DireDDDDSBBBBBBrenda Barrett the Owner/Founder of the Children's Enrichment Center, Inc. (CEC) is a graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) with over 20 years experience in academic administration. She began her literacy program as a community outreach bringing together children and families in weekly reading programs. CEC was then launched and opened February 14, 2000 in its first location at 450 Chauncy Street, Mansfield, MA included an indoor space of 3,200 square feet, servicing 39 children from the Mansfield community from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The initial goal was to provide enrichment programs after school. CEC's programs continued the learning experience that otherwise ended at 2:30 p.m. with a focused on literacy. CEC built upon the literacy programs developed by Brenda Barrett, thus expanded them to include both enrichment and educational programs engaging the children even more.
Developing these programs laid the foundation for the expansion of Children's Enrichment Center and created the vision for a learning center launching both the preschool and private kindergarten programs. The thematic approaches used in the "Family Reading Night" and "Stories for Girls Literacy Project" continued as the basis for the CEC programs. These concepts laid the foundation for the early emergent reading program and enrichment programs now offered at CEC.
In 2008 CEC continued its expansion and moved to 754 East Street, Mansfield, MA in its newly constructed building of 6,100 square feet. The center now services 80 children including preschool, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and school age. What started as a community outreach program is now a viable learning center servicing Mansfield, MA and its neighboring communities.
Each member of the Children's Enrichment Center staff is carefully screened before becoming a member of CEC and must pass the MA Office of Early Education and Care (EEC) screening. These screenings include security CORI and reference checks. If parents or guardians have questions about their child's teacher(s), please contact the Director.
All staff is experienced in their particular area of teaching and therefore brings exciting skills into our enrichment programs. Our day programs are taught and managed by the senior teachers. These are teachers with at least five years experience in the field and must be EEC certified to lead a class. The senior teachers come with a wealth of experience, such as previous careers, college degrees, and personal parenting skills. The afternoon programs are staffed with junior teaches who come from the local colleges and high school programs. They are trained and supervised, by senior teachers on staff. Additionally, all teachers are trained in First Aid, CPR and complete several hours of on-going training each year they are on staff. We keep the child to teacher ratio at ten to one in each group, giving the teacher an opportunity to work with your child in small numbers. When the ratio exceeds ten or more there is an assistant assigned to the group.
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