The Nora Stewart Early Learning Center has two primary goals: providing a strong academic foundation for children as well as a nurturing environment for families in need of affordable care. Through a curriculum emphasizing reading, math and other critical skills, we help children build a bright future and prepare them to succeed in it. Children from six weeks to ten years old can benefit from the proper nutrition, safe and nurturing environment, and strong academic curriculum we provide.
Founded by Ms. Amanda Estes in 1933, Nora Stewart was the first nursery school in Columbia to serve African Americans. It originally served 16 students, but within a year enrollment more than doubled, and by the 1940’s the school was in a larger house that Mrs. Estes inherited from her foster mother, Ms. Nora Stewart. The house was expanded in 1976 to include additional classrooms, restrooms, storage area and offices. The learning center remains at this location today, now serving over 50 children everyday.
We strive to build upon our proud past everyday to make a brighter future — for both Nora Stewart and our children. In an effort to do so, we are constantly improving our facility to make for a better learning environment. Here are some recent improvements:
- 2008 – complete kitchen renovation, expansion of adult restroom to be ADA compliant, new floor coverings, and many other upgrades
- 2010 – infant room addition
- 2012 – remodeling of children’s restrooms, new cubbies, facility repainted
- More upgrades coming soon!