70 Years of Innovative Furniture & Equipment from Childcraft Inspires Young Learners from California to Connecticut
Providing the best possible experience for young learners requires the support of skilled early childhood educators and access to innovative, high-quality classroom equipment and tools. For the latter, the Sanger Unified School District in Sanger, California and the Tender Care Learning Center in Avon, Connecticut are exemplary models. The two facilities in opposite corners of the U.S. are utilizing best-in-class furniture and equipment as a crucial driver in early childhood development and preparing young students for success inside and outside the classroom.
Both Sanger USD and Tender Care turned to School Specialty – a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace – to fulfill their furniture and equipment needs. Specifically, the two facilities turned to School Specialty’s award-winning early childhood education brand, Childcraft, to provide an assortment of curriculum and furniture solutions designed to inspire and empower the individual learning styles of every student.
Ginny Streckewald, Early Childhood Education Manager at Childcraft Education, commented on the collaboration, “This year marks 70 years that Childcraft products have helped early childhood educators cultivate the lives of little learners from birth to grade two. Over the last seven decades, Childcraft’s groundbreaking offerings have aligned with early childhood standards in every type of classroom setting and we are proud to continue serving early childhood facilities such as the Sanger Unified School District and Tender Care Learning Center.”
Delivering Style and Safety
Prior to the start of the 2015-2016 school year, the Sanger USD team, led by Rosemarie Sancho, former Director of Infant and Child Care Programs, sought a variety of new furniture and equipment that could more adequately support young children in the community. After exploring various vendor offerings, the team selected Childcraft, given the brand’s unique quality, eye-pleasing design, and exceptional construction with safety features.
Specifically, Ms. Sancho and the team opted for Childcraft classroom desks, chairs and shelves. All of the furniture is made of high-quality wood, ensuring greater sturdiness and a sophisticated look not offered in a majority of the plastic-based furniture available today. Additionally, rounded corners help to enhance safety and prevent injuries for accident-prone children.
“As an early childhood educator, I have always been concerned by hokey, cheap-looking furniture meant for young children,” Ms. Sancho noted. “Childcraft furniture, on the other hand, looks like it could be used at a college, yet customizable for a pre-K environment! At Sanger, we believe in instilling a sense of sophistication in our students from the start, and Childcraft helps us do just that. Equally important is the safeguarding of our young ones and we see the many safety elements built into the furniture. We’re very pleased and highly recommend the Childcraft solutions to our peers.”
A Home Away from Home
The Tender Care Learning Center has been open for almost 20 years, and before the start of the 2015-16 school year, administrators decided it was time to invigorate the learning experience by leveraging more flexible, state-of-the-art furniture and equipment. Interestingly, the building in which Tender Care resides was originally a house, and administrators wanted to maintain the comforts of home feeling. After their review of Childcraft products, it was clear they could preserve this type of environment.
After years of use, the facility’s bookshelves were showing their ‘wear and tear’ and were not attractive. Administrators noticed Childcraft’s beautiful wooden shelves, which then led them to discovering other furniture and equipment options, including bins that could store toys and classroom materials. School Specialty customized these bins to align with the Center’s color scheme. Additionally, administrators purchased rocking chairs for the children, which allow for gentle movement and are particularly helpful for increasing their attention span and enhancing focus.
Sarah Gonzalez, Director of the Tender Care Learning Center, stated, “The Childcraft rocking chairs are very comfortable and help our students relax, enough that they can be soothed but engaged in the learning process. The Childcraft furnishings we purchased are of the highest quality and incredibly impactful to the learning process; they are also cost-effective. The Childcraft team was a great partner in providing the solutions and services that we needed, while keeping to our budget.”
While the furniture was being shipped, a delivery issue emerged when the shipping company experienced a delay. Michael Brucato, School Specialty’s New England Early Childhood Category Sales Manager, worked around-the-clock to liaise with the shipping company, resolve the issue and ensure just-in-time delivery for the new school year. He even provided the Center with a fun puppet kit, free of charge, as well as a gift certificate.
Ms. Gonzalez continued, “The level of service that Michael and the extended School Specialty team provide is outstanding, and we truly enjoy working with them. They are so accommodating to our needs and we look forward to collaborating further with the team for our furniture and equipment needs.”
“This is an exciting time in School Specialty’s history as we pay tribute to the outstanding accomplishments of the Childcraft® brand in advancing early childhood learning. There isn’t a better feeling than supporting our educational centers across the country that are charged with preparing our children to be the best they can be; they are our future leaders!” concluded School Specialty’s Streckewald. “We look forward to many more years of making greater strides with educators, administrators, students, their families and communities at large.”