Ellis Early Learning, a provider of high-quality childhood education to working families, has secured a $250,000 capital improvement grant from the state that will support the renovation of the Ellis Children’s Park, a vital play space for students as well as children from the broader South End community.
The public park, located between Chandler and Tremont streets, steps away from Ellis’ main campus on Berkeley Street, has been a beloved area for young children to safely play since it was constructed in 2007. The planned renovation will replace and enhance play equipment, refurbish turf surfaces and fencing, and rejuvenate greenery.
Ellis has received an Early Education and Out-of-School grant administered through a partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Children’s Investment Fund, an affiliate of the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation.
“We are grateful for the grant funding and excited to have the financial resources to make much-needed improvements to the children’s park,” said Lauren Cook, CEO of Ellis Early Learning. “Ellis has always been committed to providing young children with the best learning experience, and that includes time outside where they can safely play with others while developing socially, emotionally and physically.”
Ellis staff and students use the park year-round during Outdoor Time. Ellis transformed a former vacant lot and maintains the park under a lease agreement with the City of Boston.
The renovation project, designed by studioMLA Architects of Brookline, features recycled materials, natural wood elements such as climbing logs, musical instruments, and a platform for children to stand on and watch trains pass by on the nearby MBTA commuter rail line. The project will also add more play elements geared toward younger toddlers in the 1-2 age group.
Ellis serves about 250 children from across the socioeconomic spectrum at two locations in the South End and one in Jamaica Plain. Several of its classrooms operate in partnership with Boston Public Schools’ UPK (universal pre-kindergarten) program. Licensed by the EEC and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Ellis is among the top providers of early education and care in Massachusetts.