Peter and Sandra Prescott, and TEAM EJP in Gardiner, donate $250,000 gift
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.AChampionInEveryChild.org.
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.ChildrensCTR.org.