Earthplace was founded in 1958 and opened in 1961 as the Mid-Fairfield County Youth Museum. Earthplace Preschool was founded and licensed by the State Department of Health in 1967 as an early childhood program of the museum with a focus on “exploring our world and the world of nature.” Earthplace Preschool was at the forefront of the nature-based preschool movement which is characterized by connecting the indoors and outdoors, spending at least 30 percent of the day outdoors, and venturing beyond the playground to natural spaces.
The school began as a small program with just two classes and two teachers, Mrs. Donna Weiss and Mrs. Carole Rubenstein. Mrs. Weiss helped create the school and was its first director for 12 years from its founding until 1979. Mrs. Rubenstein served as the school’s next director for the remainder of her 35-year tenure.
As the community’s needs grew and changed so did the school. In the early 1990s, an addition to the building was made to increase the flexibility of class offerings. Included in this addition were what we now call our Hummingbirds and Woodpeckers classrooms.
In 2002 Laurie Linton became the Nursery School Director bringing with her 24 years of experience in the early childhood field both as a classroom teacher and as a director. Over the decades, enrollment grew to include morning and afternoon classes for children between the ages of two and four. A fives program was added in 2012. Earthplace Preschool was first accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 2010 during Mrs. Linton’s tenure.
When Mrs. Linton retired in 2015, Amee Borys, a teacher in the program, became the next director. Mrs. Borys has served Earthplace in many ways including summer camp counselor, classroom teacher, and assistant director of Earthplace Preschool before becoming the current director. Since 2014, Mrs. Borys has helped to grow the program to meet the needs of working families. Mrs. Borys started the After School Enrichment Program, The Nest Infant and Toddler Program, and The Little Wreckers classroom at Staples High School.
Because of the dedication to the quality of our school, we have been blessed to have lasting relationships with families resulting in multiple generations of children attending the program. Additionally, we are fortunate to have incredibly talented teachers, many who have dedicated upwards of 20 years to our school and children.