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STEAM Learning Lab for Hartford’s Youngest Children Launched by Women’s League Child Development Center

(Hartford, January 19, 2023) Today in Hartford, the Women’s League Child Development Center, a leader in early childhood education, opened a unique STEAM Learning Lab for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.  STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.

The Women’s League is the largest single-site early education center in Greater Hartford, with a licensed capacity to serve 230 infants, toddlers, and preschool children. Its young learners, primarily Black and Brown, are nurtured and educated in a state-of-the-art building with 17 classrooms and credentialed lead and assistant teachers. Most children live in Hartford and hail from working families earning lower incomes. 

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by dignitaries, donors, and children in little white lab coats, Women’s League Executive Director Ms. Karen Lott said, “This STEAM Lab is a dream come true for us and the families we serve. Here, we are giving Hartford’s children, regardless of their families’ incomes, the same access and opportunity as their suburban counterparts for STEAM learning. We are nurturing the Black and Brown scientists, technology professionals, engineers, and mathematicians of tomorrow.”  

“This learning lab is an exciting opportunity to explore new ways to engage children in their early learning and development. The Women’s League has a long history of forging innovative pathways, grounded in equity, for our community’s youngest children,” said Beth Bye, Office of Early Childhood Commissioner.

The STEAM Learning Lab will enable children enrolled at the center to engage in hands-on educational activities intentionally designed to develop their critical thinking skills, enhance their love for learning, and open a path toward STEAM careers.

The Women’s League was founded in 1917 by African American ministers’ wives to house and support single immigrant and migrant women striving to succeed in their new city without family or social ties. 

Alumni of the Women’s League include New England’s first elected Black mayor, Hartford’s Thirman L. Milner; Shawn Wooden, recent Connecticut State Treasurer and former Hartford City Council President; Denise Nappier, the country’s first African American woman elected State Treasurer; and Darryl Thames, Town Clerk of Manchester, Connecticut. 

Recent studies confirm the lack of diversity in STEM fields, both in the professions and in the academic pipeline. In the next decade, an estimated 75 percent of jobs in the fastest growing industries will require a background in science.

The bright and colorful learning space on the second floor of the Women’s League was designed with input from teachers, parents, and educational experts. The new learning lab houses a mini greenhouse, a wind tunnel, a magnetic gear wall, building materials, a conveyor belt, laptop computers, and a broad range of interactive learning materials designed for exploration and manipulation. 

Major financial support for the STEAM Learning Lab comes from the AT&T Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, Jane Torrey, the Farmington Bank Community Foundation, Vantis Life Insurance Company, Marcia B. Howard, the Vernon D. and Florence E. Roosa Foundation Memorial Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Amy and Bob Stefanowski, Lisa Burgarella, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP), Thomas C. Faniel, and Linda and Ted Ruby.

Members of The Town & County Club in Hartford held a book drive culminating in the donation of more than 200 age-appropriate STEAM-focused children’s books. The Epsilon Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, which had donated books to the children at the Women’s League for decades, also made a significant donation of new children’s books.

1695 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06120
860.524.5969 | [email protected]

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