We are a non-profit organization with a play-based teaching model.
Mission & Philosophy
Norfield Children's Center is a non-profit, nonsectarian organization with a play-based teaching model for children aged 2 through 12 years of age.
We recognize the importance of early learning experiences and work hard to provide a safe, fun and nurturing environment where your child follows a play-based curriculum. Norfield Children's Center values the process of early childhood development and works to provide children learning experiences through structure and play.
Putting Children First
Norfield Children's Center recognizes that each child is different and aims to develop their social and emotional skills in a play-based environment.
Our classrooms are set up in sections specific to the age of the group. Teachers incorporate academic skills through weekly theme-based activities. Norfield Children's Center emphasizes the process of learning and creates an atmosphere of exploration and discovery for students. Your students progress is monitored by their participation in daily hands-on activities and through observational assessments.
Special activities for our students include music and yoga classes, as well as walking trips to the Weston Public Library. Our Four's preschool program also works closely with Weston Public Schools, incorporating a "move up day" at the end of the year where students ride a bus to the elementary school and are greeted by the kindergarten teachers and staff.
As a non-profit organization, Norfield Children's Center is guided by volunteers on our Board of Directors.
We work hard to have parents play an active role in their child's education and also provide several social activities for them during the school year, including Parent's Coffee Mornings and Parent's Night Out.
Creating a sense of community, Norfield Children's Center is located in the heart of Weston, CT with very close proximity to the Weston Public School campus.
The Elena Coulter Spence Scholarship Fund
Norfield is proud to offer The Elena Coulter Spence Scholarship Fund, a needs-based scholarship established for children enrolled in Norfield preschool classes. This scholarship was established in 2023 in memory of beloved Norfield teacher Elena Coulter Spence. Scholarships are awarded in an amount up to $2,000 per school-year based on financial need.
If you think you may qualify and are interested in applying, please click here for a link to the application or contact Ellen Sicinski, Bookkeeper, for more information at 203-227-7047.
If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the Elena Coulter Spence Scholarship Fund, all donations will be equally matched by the family of Elena Spence. Donations can be made by check payable to “Norfield Children’s Center” with the notation “Elena Coulter Spence SF” in the memo field.
Elena Coulter Spence (1947 - 2022)
Lanie was a professional educator who provided a warm, caring and safe environment where her students were able to grow and thrive as they sought to achieve their full potential under her guidance. She not only touched the hearts of her students but those of their parents and families.
Her diverse experience provided her with the ability to teach a diverse group of students, including those challenged with developmental delays, learning disabilities and noncompliant behavior as well as those students who functioned above grade level.
Her teaching career began in the San Antonio Independent School District in 1971. She established the district's first English as a Second Language multi-ethnic early childhood/kindergarten program. In 1974, Lainie moved back to CT where she was raised with her husband Ken. She joined the Trumbull Catholic Regional School as a kindergarten teacher and taught first and second grade reading groups in the afternoons
After having her first child, Merryl, Lanie left Trumbull in 1977 to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Open Education at Fairfield University. Upon completing her MA degree and giving birth to her son, Ryan, in 1979, Lainie spent the next 10 years as a short-term and long-term substitute at Cooperative Educational Services in Trumbull, CT. The center served developmentally and emotionally compromised students (ages 3-21). While there, she provided individualized support incorporating a wide variety of behavioral and communicative strategies.
In 1992, Lanie returned to her true educational passion, Early Childhood Development, and joined the staff of Norfield Children's Center. For the next 8 years, she co-taught the Threes and Fours Programs. Her background as a kindergarten teacher and experience in special education made her an invaluable resource. She set a warm and loving tone in the classroom and always sought out the children with the greatest needs.
Following 18 years of full-time service to Norfield, Lanie stepped back in 2010 and became a volunteer and substitute teacher through 2020.
"Lanie's contribution to the growth of the children who were fortunate to be in her care created the proper foundation for their future growth" - Donna Pcolka, Trumbull Catholic Educational School Board.
"She was special to so many children, friends and those whose life she touched" - Jill Valala, Norfield staff member.
A life well lived is simply one that adds to the beauty, the goodness and the love in the world. In Lanie's case, her life added to the beauty, the goodness and the love of children. She always fought for the wellbeing for all her kids, especially for those with the greatest needs.
To this end, the Elena Coulter Spence Scholarship Fund has been established in her loving memory.
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