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ANDRUS Early Learning Center Opens in Tuckahoe with Emily McKnight Corry Toy Library and Carter Arts Wing Featured Attractions

Written by Kevin Cook, Director of Development, ANDRUS



May 2, 2012:  Heavy clouds chased the ceremony indoors on Thursday, April 26, but didn’t dampen the spirit of the crowd of 75 gathered for the ribbon cutting at the ANDRUS Early Learning Center (AELC).

The successor to the former Eastchester Child Development Center (ECDC), founded in 1967 by the late Judge J. Rockhill Gray and Mrs. Emily Corry, both of Bronxville, as a program of Family & Community Services Inc. (FCS), this new operation is handsomely housed on the entire third floor and a portion of the first at the Tuckahoe Village Hall.  Mayor Steve Ecklondwelcomed the crowd and shared the giant scissors with ANDRUS president and CEO Nancy Woodruff Ment.

Prominent in the audience were FCS and ANDRUS supporters from Bronxville, includingPeg and John Cady, Bumpty McGrath, Susan Guma, Emily and John Corry, Sharlyn Carter, and JoAnn LoFriscorepresenting Hudson Valley Bank.

The tour following the ceremony elicited gasps of delight at the creative and bright renovation of the former Rollins Agency office complex.  The Carter Arts Wing and its spacious children’s theatre and adjacent art studio, The Emily McKnight Corry Toy Library (the first in Westchester County!), large classrooms, an indoor play space, new kitchen and cafĂ© for healthy meals and snacks, and more were all admired.

The AELC provides superior full- and half-day care and early childhood education for children up to the age of five.  In this new space, ANDRUS is adding an infant care program for children as early as six months of age, a boon to working parents.

Westchester County Legislator Sheila Marcotte of Tuckahoe brought greetings from her colleagues and Rob Astorino, the county executive.  Kathleen Suss and Heather Petrie of Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art led a group of AELC children in singing an exuberant welcome to the guests.  The conservatory provides weekly music lessons at AELC as part of its significant community service offerings.  The crowd included many local supporters, including Philip Raffiani, the Tuckahoe Lions Club, and members of the local chambers of commerce.

On Saturday, the ANDRUS Kick-off for Kids introduced the new center to local children and families. Sarah Lawrence College interns shared their “pop-up gym”; Junior League volunteers, organized by Community VP Sonja Gaffney, read stories and shared gently used books with all comers and led family yoga and healthy snacking; and members of the Masonic Lodge in Tuckahoe provided an important child ID program for interested families.

Bob’s Discount Furniture, the national retailer, provided a clown and face painting, along with the talent of Kathy Fallon, a songstress who performed several sets of lullabies, accompanied by the gift of a gorgeous picture book and CD of lullabies for each child.  Bright skies ensured a large crowd and the excitement to lead into Monday, April 30, the first day of class in our little friends’ new home.


Pictured here:  At the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new ANDRUS Early Learning Center: L to R are President Nancy Ment, Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond, County Legislator Sheila Marcotte, and the “Three Ladies of FCS,” Sharlyn Carter, Emily Corry, and Peg Cady, all of Bronxville.

Photo courtesy Kevin Cook, Director of Development, ANDRUS