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History of Newcomb Child Center

Newcomb Children’s Center originally started as a nursery school for Tulane faculty and staff when Edith Rosenwald Stern, a young parent and community activist, spearheaded a group of six mothers in the endeavor to establish the preschool in 1926, a time when these were not commonplace in the United States. She was the daughter of Julius Rosenwald, founder of Sears Roebuck and Company, and had attended the University of Chicago Lab School, where a preschool had been initiated in 1916.

Stern became acquainted with Patty Smith Hill, a leader of the American Kindergarten and Nursery School Movement, during a visit to Columbia University’s Institute for Child Welfare in New York.  This relationship led to a broad scope of beneficial effects on Stern in terms of its philosophy and methods of teaching.  From its inception, the School has encouraged hands-on learning by the children with guidance from a caring staff of teachers and active parents.

Between 1926 and 1979 the nursery school only had three directors, Julia Kirkwook, Rena Wilson and Mary Anne Marshall Bendler.  Through the leadership of these three directors, the nursery school achieved growth and a broadened curriculum.  Pat Schindler arrived in 1980 and became the director until the Newcomb College Nursery School's 70th anniversary in 1996. Under Schindler's leadership, the Newcomb Children's Center was formed to incorporate both the Nursery School and the new Child Care Center.

In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, the Newcomb College Nursery School and Newcomb Child Care Center of Tulane University combined under the name of Newcomb Children’s Center of Tulane University and became a full day program to facilitate the reopening of the university. We continue to offer the same appropriate playground and classroom facilities that help give each child opportunities to develop physically, mentally and socially. The underlying educations theory of the center is that a variety of hands-on experiences help children become confident, curious and ready to learn.

Newcomb Children's Center's current director is Julie Smith-Price, Ph.D., a New Orleans native.  She received a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from St. Mary's Dominican College, a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction/ Early Childhood Education from the University of New Orleans.

Her career in Early Childhood Education began over 25 years ago and includes various teaching and leadership positions, along with being asked to present at numerous Early Childhood Education conferences and workshops.   Prior to joining Newcomb Children's Center, Julie worked as an Instructor of Education, and served as an Academic Advisor at Delgado Community College.  She is the former director of Bolden Child Development Center of Xavier University, and also served as Director of Lower School at Samuel J. Green Charter School.

 

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu