At Little Folks School, learning happens all the time, falling into one of two categories: structured or organic. Preschoolers (between ages 3 and 4) and pre-kindergarteners (between ages 4 and 5) spend their mornings immersed in storytelling, playtime, and learning basic reading and writing, which naturally fosters social learning. They'll form new friendships and work to solve conflicts with peers in a way that will augment their new academic skills once they start kindergarten.
Kidsports provides children with nearly anything they need, whether it's recreation, after-school education, or childcare. The colorful indoor playground is equipped with bright slides and inflatable bounce-houses, and a separate section welcomes toddlers or older children looking to relive the days of their youth. Painting areas let kids exercise their minds as well as their muscles, while a miniature bowling alley and a pirate-themed laser tag arena host friendly competitions. The center is equally adept at mixing fun with learning, hosting preschool and educational programs for children ages 3 to 14.
Sullivan's Rhode boasts an Irish lilt and a vibrant, sporting atmosphere where cold brews are savored and traditional pub fare warms bellies. Among the murmur of sporting debates, affable servers float plates amid the glow of nine 50-inch plasma TVs that display basketball, hockey, and full-contact tic-tac-toe. Providence College basketball games precede Thursday-night karaoke, and locals shake a leg during Wednesday's DJ dance party. Minutiae masters host Monday-evening trivia, where guests must flex brain muscles and refrain from taking advantage of Sullivan's free WiFi to look up the answers.:
The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
Housing 5,000 square feet of play structures and interactive activities, Kidz Kastle incites imaginative play in youngsters. The center showcases its dedication to child safety by cleaning equipment multiple times throughout the day with a chemical-free sanitizing system and provides parents with a WiFi-equipped viewing area so they can maintain vigilant watch over their chubby-cheeked cherubs or fantasy foosball team. Kids romp through an indoor playground, complete with custom-designed playhouses, an interactive Eyeplay system, indoor sports court, fantasy teacup ride, and foosball and air-hockey tables. Through interactive revelry and activities, kids are provided with a means to develop creativity and social skills, as well as a welcome diversion from normal routines spent trying to grow goatees.
Propelled by a degree in human development, Fran Durekas desperately sought a career where she could put her passion for children to use. Instead of finding full-time work, she landed a spot at a small after-school program near Stanford University—it was anything but ideal, as the miniscule budget and poor quality often forced her to dip into her own funds for supplies. She began looking for a way out when the director offered her the chance to buy out the program and transform this little part-time gig into the career she was looking for. The thought of redesigning the curriculum to match her high standards, treating the teachers as professionals, and upping the involvement of area families thrilled her. She went for it, opening her first Children’s Creative Learning Center in 1992.
Now a multistate company accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, CCLC continue to overhaul their programs to keep pace with the latest research in the field of early development. CCLC hire top educators, focusing on developing social, emotional, physical, and intellectual skills while maintaining important boundaries and a feeling of play. Recently, educational company Knowledge Universe brought all CCLC under its umbrella, providing its newest independent division with even more resources to help children grow into well-rounded students and not into giant, skyscraper-destroying monsters. They also offer daycare services, which operate in or alongside many of the classroom facilities at CCLC.