Wellesley Child Study Center Celebrates 100 Years

November 4, 2013

The Wellesley Child Study Center Turns 100 Today, Join the Celebration at Noon in the Science Center

Children on jungle gym at Child Study Center circa 1925

On November 4, Wellesley celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Wellesley College Child Study Center. The Child Study Center is a laboratory of the Wellesley College Psychology Department. A celebration—complete with birthday cake—will be held today in the Science Center Focus from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

In September 1912, Wellesley established its first kindergarten thanks, in large part, to Wellesley professors Katharine Coman and Katherine Lee Bates (Class of 1880). Bates and Coman were concerned about the welfare of the children in the town of Wellesley. Soon enrollment in the program swelled and a new building was needed to house it. The Anne L. Page Memorial Kindergarten (named to honor a prominent 19th century early childhood educator) opened its doors on November 4, 1913. 

The building was funded by Wellesley Village Improvement Association, Wellesley College, and a benefactor, Mrs. Helen Craig. In founding the school, Craig expressed the hope that the school would "serve the college by opening students’ eyes to the fact that all life is interrelated and that adults must study the children rather than assume that they know the child."

When the Center first opened, it was under the auspices of Wellesley’s Education Department, but the Psychology Department soon began to take an interest in the program and eventually the school fell under its direction. Although it shares the same corner of campus, the Child Study Center is separate from the Wellesley Community Children’s Center, which operates as a more traditional childcare program.

Today, the Child Study Center serves children ages 2 to 5. In addition to research by Psychology Department faculty and students, Wellesley College students are invited to volunteer in the center or to explore the possibilities of using the Child Study Center for independent studies.

Learn more about the Center on its website.


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