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Our Story

The Barbara Vick Early Childhood and Family Center is a model Early Childhood Center on the southwest side of Chicago in the 19th ward in Network 10 which opened in 1999. The concept of the Center grew out of a community need to serve young children with disabilities and their families.  The Center utilizes an inclusive model of education, provides multidisciplinary intervention and support, and provides intervention services for 3-5 year old children and their families.

The program enhances and emphasizes a close partnership between education, families, and community on behalf of the children served. The Center serves as a best practices demonstration center for educating children who are at-risk and who have diagnosed special needs.

The Center was named for Barbara Vick, who, along with her family, was a resident of the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park community and an active participant in community service. Throughout her life in this community, Barbara’s volunteer activities were legendary. Some of her involvements included serving as the PTA president at Barnard School and Morgan Park High School, and as the legislative chair of state concerns for the Chicago area PTA association. Barbara was the president of the Southwest Council District #25 and was a leader for both the Boy and Girl Scouts.

Barbara was very active in the East Beverly Improvement Association as well as the Beverly Area Planning Association’s Executive Committee. Barbara worked on the 22nd Police District Steering Committee and the Morgan Park Junior Women’s Club where she served as their Educational Chair. Barbara spearheaded the development of the AYSO Youth Soccer League and was active in the Chicago Park District.

Throughout these most important activities on behalf of schools and the community, she never lost sight of her primary role as wife, mother, and grandmother. During her life, Barbara received many forms of appreciation and recognition. The Chicago Sun Times named Barbara Vick as one of their “Outstanding Community Volunteer” recipients. The community newspaper, The Beverly Review, recognized Barbara as one of the community’s leading women. We are honored to have our building named after such an extraordinary woman.

In the Fall of 2011 the Barbara Vick family grew to include the Barbara Vick Village, located in the Marquette Park neighborhood. The Village incorporates the same philosophy, school design and educational model as the original site while adding in a dual-language component.

In our outdoor spaces we strive to recreate the inviting, thought provoking, educational environments from within our school and classroom environments and bring them outdoors.  With outdoor classrooms we will have the ability to educate and inspire not only the children, staff and families within our centers but the community as a whole.  It is our intent to have the spaces open year round so that our entire community can experience the awe and wonder of connecting with the natural world.