The Ann Windle School for Young Children was designed primarily to support the development of children aged 3 and 4. The school is part of the Head Start program, but it is designed to support the whole family, including those with special needs. Special-needs services include language development, communications skills, motor skills, academic readiness, self help COST PER SQ FT$109.53FEATURED IN2002 Educational Interiors2002 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYChildcare Centers social-emotional skills. Other programs include English as a second language (ESL), fine arts, music and drama (each classroom has a studio area and a platform stage), plus other special-needs services including occupational therapy, physical therapy and training for the visual impaired. Parent and family courses include parenting skills, English, nutrition, computer skills and GED assistance.
The design team dramatically increased the capacity of the existing program, without creating a school that feels “big.” It emphasizes neighborhoods for children. Two “communities” contain three “neighborhoods” of three classrooms each. Inside, each community shares a “common,” which also includes a home-living component and teacher workspaces. Outside, each neighborhood features its own quiet outdoor play space and a covered patio “studio” at each classroom. In addition, large play areas are shared by each community.