At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 18: St. Mary’s Child Center
Founded in 1961, St. Mary’s Child Center began as a center to provide intensive, high quality early intervention to children with learning and emotional challenges. The organization had very little money in the beginning, so 22 children were housed in a run-down building. This building served as the only housing until 1986, until 33 community leaders generously built a new school. These leaders are now known as St. Mary’s Child Center’s first “Godparents”.
Since then, St. Mary’s Child Center has seen tremendous growth. Additional buildings and programs have been opened to keep up with the increasing demands. There are now five locations across Indianapolis with a mission to provide “the highest quality early childhood experiences that will ensure success in school and build the foundation for life long success for our children.”
St. Mary’s Child Center offers two programs to impact the futures of young children: The Preschool Program and The Educational Outreach Program. The goal of the Board, donors, and funders is to help fund these programs so that children living in poverty are able to participate. Currently, 93% of the children served live in poverty. One hundred percent of the children who qualify for free or reduced lunch receive substantial assistance.
The Preschool Program serves three to five year old children at the following locations: the Thompson Building, the Gilliatte Building, Indianapolis Museum of Art, St. Anthony’s Catholic School and the IPS/Butler University Laboratory School. The nationally-accredited Preschool Program ensures that children of all socioeconomic backgrounds are ready for school. St. Mary’s provides a low adult to child ratio, social services, nutritious meals and a highly qualified staff. The Preschool utilizes Reggio Emilia inspired curriculum which “articulates children to acquire skills of critical thinking and collaboration.”
St. Mary’s Educational Outreach Program focuses on teachers who work with poor children. This program is designed to support the educator’s understanding of high quality practices so that they can extend these practices to their classrooms.
The St. Mary’s Child Center community strongly believes that children “who come from differing socioeconomic backgrounds and work together exhibit greater academic success.” With this belief, children’s connections with diversity will help develop skills such as collaboration, leadership, adaptability and initiative.
All revenue funded to St. Mary’s Child Center directly supports the children in the Preschool Program and the efforts of the Educational Outreach Program. Everyone involved with the Center is committed to providing the best possible early childhood education for all young children to set them up for a lifetime of success.