Building Strong Families for Life
By Erica K. Daniels
An old African proverb states that it takes a village to raise a child. With this sage concept in mind, The Children’s Center was born 12 years ago.
The center began as most ideas do – with a conversation between moms who saw a problem and would not rest until they found a solution. The conversation led to a North Brevard community needs assessment, and the assessment led to a clear mission: the area should develop a one-stop “village” for children’s health and education needs.
“The Children’s Center provides that haven, or safe place, for children and families to learn and grow together in a supportive environment – to be the best they can be.”
A SPECIAL PLACE FOR ALL KIDS
Today, The Children’s Center in Titusville carries out its vision of developing strong families for life with the help of six non-profit partner agencies, which focus on child development and education, health and behavioral issues and family support.
The 15,000-square-foot facility includes a community room, a therapeutic rehabilitation gym, playground areas for children of all abilities and plenty of room where children can safely grow and learn.
What makes this center particularly unique is its use of an inclusion model for education. This means children with special needs are educated right alongside their typically developing peers.
“Children learn best in their natural environment,” explains Lori Duester, the center’s manager. “Rather than pull the child with special needs out of the classroom or homes for their speech or physical therapy session, the therapist comes into the classroom or home setting and uses everyday routines as the catalyst for the child to learn a new skill. Children learn best from their peers through play and social interaction.”
PARTNERS FOR CHILDREN
All under one roof, parents can find the resources and support they need for raising children:
Hidden Potentials provides specialized tutoring for general education and special needs students in K-12th grades throughout Brevard (including SAT/ACT prep). Sessions are done in the student’s home or at one of their two center locations (The Children’s Center in Titusville and Melbourne Square Mall). Call (321) 267-6318 for more information.
Healthy Families Brevard is a voluntary home-visiting program that helps new and expectant parents succeed in their most important role – nurturing their children. Call (321) 267-1502 for more information.
Early Head Start/Head Start offers full day care and education services for children, infant to 5 years. This program features qualified teachers and low staff-to-child ratios. Call (321) 576-0829 for more information.
Early Steps provides transdisciplinary screening and evaluation for children with developmental delays, infant to 3 years. Call (321) 634-3688 for more information.
Parrish Medical Center Pediatric Rehabilitation offers physical, occupational and speech therapy for children infant to 16 years. Individual and group sessions are also arranged at the family’s convenience. Call (321) 264-9331 for more information.
Parrish Early Care and Education Program offers part-time preschool and full-day child care and education services for children, infant to 5 years. This program is fully accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and provides a low staff-to-child ratio. Call (321) 264-0855 for more information.
Parrish Early Care and Education Program goes beyond the call of duty, offering special programs that cater to weary moms, date-deprived parents and energetic youngsters.
The main goal of Parrish Early Care and Education is to provide early care, education and support services to each child to enhance childhood development and readiness for school success once they reach kindergarten.
For more information about these special programs, including Moms & Kidz Gathering, Playgroups, Moms Morning Out, Respite Night, Birthday Parties and Summer Camps, call (321) 264-0855.
HOT SUMMER, COOL KIDS
The Children’s Center will host summer camps for children of all abilities, ages 2 to 5 beginning in June, with seven weekly sessions available. Contact the center for details.
The Children’s Center
5650 S. Washington Avenue
Titusville, FL 32780