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About Us

Research Collaboration

Hester’s Creative Schools believes that participation in research collaboration with our universities benefits everyone: children in Hester’s schools are exposed to the most current ideas in how children learn; our families make a contribution to the improvement of education; and we help those who are working hard to become teachers and caregivers to add to our collective knowledge of the stages of childhood development and what makes learning appealing to children.

From our inception, Hester’s Creative Schools has been instrumental in the development and promotion of specialized training for pre-school teachers and on-going research in early childhood education.

When Hester’s Creative Schools was founded in 1949 there were no college-level programs in the state of North Carolina dedicated to preparing pre-school teachers. At that time most children stayed in their homes or with relatives until they were ready to enter first grade. There was not a focus on learning for children under six years old.

Hester’s founder, Henrietta Hester Harris was determined to change that. She knew younger children were ready and able to learn and create and she needed individuals who were prepared to teach in her schools. She worked with Dr. Irvin Sperry, Director of the Home Economics Department at what was then Women’s College — now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro — to request workshops to prepare pre-school teachers. There was skepticism about the need for such a program until the first summer when the classes were offered and the registration lines stretched around the block.

Within two years, Women's college, with Mrs. Harris' strong urging, introduced a degree in Early Childhood Development. Over the years Hester’s has participated in a number of research studies aimed at discovering how children learn and what best creates an environment in which children can thrive.