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Major gift for Children’s Center

From Children’s CTR

AUGUSTA – Chil­dren’s Center, an early childhood intervention and family support services organization for children with special needs, has an­nounced a $250,000 gift toward the center’s plans to expand its Augusta facility.

Peter and Sandra Prescott, and TEAM EJP in Gardiner, made the gift in part to help more fami­lies in Central Maine ac­cess vital services for their children.

“Giving back to our community and lending a hand when it’s needed is an essential part of the cul­ture of EJP,” said Prescott. “We have seen the effects of the work done at the Children’s Center, and it is critical for kids with spe­cial needs. Knowing that there is a waiting list of about 100 kids just in the Greater Augusta Area is heartbreaking. We know we can help eliminate that waiting list by helping to fund this expansion, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

“The Children’s Cen­ter literally changes lives,” Sandra Prescott added. “Children who aren’t ex­pected to walk learn to do so; non-verbal children learn to communicate; children who need a lit­tle extra help to discover themselves and develop the abilities needed to achieve independence get that help at the Children’s Center. Making these kids a priority says a lot about who we are as a communi­ty and I believe we’re the kind of community these children deserve.”

Children’s Center an­nounced its plans earlier in the year to expand its pri­mary location in Augusta to meet demand.

The organization provides center-based ser­vices for children ages six weeks to five years old and outpatient services, includ­ing occupational therapy, speech therapy, outpatient mental health for children and families, and case management support to kids up to age 21. Annual­ly, the Center serves more than 250 children between its four sites: Augusta, Farmington, Skowhegan and Waterville. All sites have waiting lists with Au­gusta’s being the largest at nearly 100 children in the Augusta area in need of center-based or outpatient services at any given time. The Children’s Center also is home to a recent­ly-opened special purpose private school, extending services to kids up to age 7.

“We are all very thankful for the gift from the Prescott family, al­though I can’t say we are surprised,” said Jeff John­son, Children’s Center Ex­ecutive Director. “During his more than six decades at EJP, Peter Prescott has consistently gone above and beyond to help this community he loves so dearly. His passion for Gar­diner and Central Maine comes through not just in his words, but in his ac­tions and how he works ev­ery day. This area is lucky to have Peter and Sandra as advocates and supporters.”

More details on the campaign to expand the Children’s Center can be found at www.AChampi­

Children’s Center will expand its current Au­gusta facility by 14,000 square feet, while reno­vating 5,000 square feet of existing space. The expan­sion will more than double the space and provide ad­ditional classrooms, spe­cialized service areas and administrative space. The expansion will also cre­ate additional gross motor space, a stimulation-sen­sitive entrance and lobby, solar installation for im­proved energy efficien­cy and a reduced carbon footprint, and the state’s only Snoezelen Room. The entire project is expected to cost about $5 million, with Children’s Center more than halfway to its fundraising goal, mostly through large donations.

Children’s Center of­ferings cover a wide range of services, including spe­cialized programming for children with autism, com­plex medical needs and global delays; behavioral day treatment for children with a history of trauma, emotional regulation and mental health needs; and a recently established fully accredited Special Purpose Private School, allowing children in need of a spe­cialized environment to continue learning at Chil­dren’s Center for their kin­dergarten year.

Children’s Center has served the Greater Au­gusta Area since 1967 as Mid-State United Cerebral Palsy, Inc. After several moves, the doors to the current building opened in December of 1978. The building, located on the corner of Alden Avenue and Worcester Street in Augusta, was expanded in 2001, increasing its capac­ity to 60 center-based chil­dren.

More details about Children’s Center can be found at www.ChildrensC­

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