Why We Do It

Deeply improving the lives of children through education innovation is what The Children’s Storefront does. Our tuition-free private school was a first for Harlem and over time our educational approach was adopted by charter schools in Harlem and the South Bronx. Having made a lasting mark on the local education landscape over several decades, The Children’s Storefront is now focusing on high-impact ways to promote the development of children during their critical first thousand days of life, laying a solid foundation from a child’s earliest days for lifelong success.

Why? Because one of the most exciting discoveries of recent years is how the most rapid and crucial growth of the brain occurs in the first three years of life, starting at birth. Researchers have further learned how children’s brains develop when they experience positive back and forth responsive interactions with their caregivers through communication, games, songs, art activities, and reading. Harvard University’s Center On The Developing Child calls this process “Serve and Return.” Without these interactions at this early age, the brain will be weaker. As a result, language, reading, social, emotional and other developmental difficulties may surface by the time children reach pre-school and beyond. Chances of succeeding in school and all aspects of life are greatly diminished.

Our work is based on this science, and how harnessing it deeply improves the lives of children. Our latest venture, The Children’s Storefront Learn and Play Center brings this powerful knowledge to parents and their children in user-friendly ways that make promoting the development of important language, cognitive, social and emotional skills second nature. The earlier families embrace and use “Serve and Return” type activities, the more likely they are to practice them over time. This will accelerate early brain growth, dramatically improving their children’s chances of reaching their full potential!

Whether you are a family looking to become involved or a potential program partner, we look forward to your joining us on this journey!