EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

April 5, 2013

From 1800s school to modern kids center

YMCA to expand learning center at historic Whittier Building

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“We started with about 25 children and we now have over 50 children enrolled in the program and a waiting list, which is why we want to expand,” Fuller said. “We also want to have full use of the building.”

Prior to opening the center, the YMCA operated an early education center in Groveland, which served about 30 children, more than half from Haverhill.

“We opened the program knowing there was a need for affordable, early education in Haverhill,” Fuller said. “One of the additional bonuses to the Whittier Building location was the close proximity to the YMCA and its many programs.”

The Children’s Learning Center currently has four classrooms and bathrooms for staff and children. Fuller said renovations to the second floor will add one large classroom, two bathrooms, a kitchen, an elevator for handicap access and a community recreation room that can be used for a variety of purposes. She said the new classroom will allow for an additional 20 children.

The program currently serves children 15 months to 5 years old. With the addition of another classroom, the program can serve more than 70 students, Fuller said.

“We serve snacks right now, but with a kitchen we’ll be able to serve lunch and do more cooking projects with the children,” she said.

Anyone interested in donating to the project can contact Fuller at 978-374-0506 or fullert@northshoreymca.org.

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