Photographs by William Taufic.
Childcare Learning Center of Fairfield County (CLC)
Jennifer Lapine began working as an elementary school teacher in Stamford in 1968, and her determination to ensure every child receive a great education has only grown through the years. “I’ve always loved children,” says Jennifer. “Every child deserves a quality education that also supports their social and emotional development. That’s what we do at CLC. That’s why I’m involved.”
Courage in Action
Jennifer, who pursued her master’s while raising her own children, has worked tirelessly to build awareness about the value of education and “strong, well-educated, committed teachers, who will work toward making every child successful in school.” She has formed and been involved in numerous educational organizations, created youth programs, brought nonprofits together, and served as a liaison between the public schools and the mayor and governor.
Marc Jaffe, CLC CEO, comments: “Jennifer has been a member of the CLC family for over twenty years. She was the first School Readiness liaison, appointed in 1997. In 2002, she joined the CLC board. After serving her term, she moved onto CLC’s leadership council, assuming the chairmanship in 2014.”
Jennifer developed a parenting program, Lapine’s Life Skills Plus, and she also brings together Edgehill residents with the young students of CLC Palmer’s Hill Road on a regular basis. Jaffe adds, “It is a glorious sight to behold, these two generations sharing their curiosity and enthusiasm for arts and crafts, reading, and love for one another through play. Jennifer has touched tens of thousands of children in Stamford.”
Hopes & Dreams
“Our work isn’t done. People need to know that the best investment we will ever make is in the education of our children. We need to hire the best and brightest early childhood educators. This stage is crucial to building a strong foundation,” says Jennifer. “My wish is to have children interacting with the world around them, exploring every day, talking, writing, creating, forming friendships; then they will have the framework for success in school. Kindergarteners need time for fantasy, making up games and rules. When you push hard and there is no time for that, you lose childhood much too quickly and your building crumbles. Preparing for life should come first and foremost.”