The Jefferson Avenue Childhood Development Center has provided early childhood education, early intervention services, before/after school enrichment programs and summer camp in the Jefferson Avenue/Genesee Street sector of Rochester since 1972.
The center also provides preventive, protective, foster care and/or homeless services for children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age.
The center has received national recognition for its programs since 2000 through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which is the nation’s largest organization of early childhood educators.
Its programs include:
Early Prekindergarten: This is a free, full-day program for 3-year-old, high-needs children with a primary focus on individual learning.
Universal Prekindergarten is a free full-day program for 4-year-olds with the primary focus on school readiness and social-emotional skill building.
Hear, See and Grow: Free hearing and speech services, through formal assessments, identify hearing loss, auditory processing problems and speech delays. Also provided are training opportunities for staff, parents and one-on-one consultation with parents.
Home Away from Home: This program offers free scholarships to homeless children who are 6 weeks to 5 years old as their families transition from homelessness due to fire, death of a loved one and/or domestic violence. The overall goal is to keep families intact through an array of support services in partnership with homeless shelters.
My Life Counts: This before/after school program focuses on character building through five proactive themes: My Actions Count, My Body Counts, My Community Counts, My Future Counts and My Story Counts. The program operates as an eight-week summer camp with weekly field trips to museums, concerts, swimming, city tours, Broadway shows and visiting artists.
Gathering of Families expands the channels of communication between parents and the center, providing parents an opportunity to get to know each another, making it easier to support one another on an ongoing basis and to offer an array of resources that will ease the burden of child-raising.
Kids in the Kitchen is designed to incorporate age-appropriate nutrition education and activities into the weekly curriculum. Children develop social skills through taking turns, following directions and exhibiting good manners and pleasant conversation. Math skills (measuring, counting) are also developed. A parent component includes menu planning and creating recipes. Field trips to area markets, farms, bakeries, bottling plants and local grocers are included.
Furnessa Mangrum is executive director of Jefferson Avenue Child Development Center, which is located at 793 Jefferson Ave. and has 16 paid employees. Its website is jacdc.org.
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