CHILDREN’S CENTER TO NAME BUILDING AFTER FOUNDING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DONORS
On April 14, the Children’s Center will dedicate its original home and name it after its original executive director and those who donated the structure back in 1983. The building at 507 Third Avenue in Franklin, which now houses Early Head Start classrooms, will become the “Barbara S. Mease Children’s Center at the Jones House” at a ceremony at 5 p.m. that day. The public is invited to attend.
The Children’s Center was incorporated in 1983 with a rich history of twists and turns through the years. Leading the organization was Founding Director, Barbara S. Mease. Early in the life of the agency, her path crossed a family of philanthropists that moved the organization from a Suffolk Sunday School classroom to the first of eight buildings occupied today. The original Children’s Center home is located at 507 Third Avenue in Franklin. A gift of Dr. Darden Jones, his brother, William T. Jones and their families, the house gave the Center its first roots.
Following renovation, the Children’s Center moved into its new home in November 1984. As the business center of the agency, it remained as such until the Texie Camp Marks Center was completed in January 1996. The 507 Third Avenue building remains vibrant as an Early Head Start facility, serving children and families.
Barbara Mease retired in October 2013 following 30 years of service to the organization. The Children’s Center Board of Directors decided to honor Barb and the original philanthropists by naming the 507 Third Avenue building in their honor.
The Children’s Center serves over 1,300 children per year in Franklin, Suffolk, Southampton County, and Isle of Wight County with Head Start, Early Head Start, Community Childcare, and Early Intervention services. The Center has eight locations in Franklin, Suffolk, Courtland, and Smithfield.