Children’s Center to be dedicated

Published 11:12 am Wednesday, April 6, 2016


The Children’s Center, 507 Third Avenue in Franklin, will be dedicated in honor of its founder and the persons who donated the structure as part of a ceremony on April 14 at 5 p.m. The building, which now houses early head start classrooms, will become the Barbara S. Mease Children’s Center at the Jones House.

A gift of Dr. Darden Jones; his brother, William T. Jones; and their families, The Children’s Center opened in 1984. Its founding director, Barbara S. Mease, moved the organization from a Suffolk Sunday School classroom to the first of eight buildings occupied today.

As the business center of the agency, the Third Avenue building remained as such until the Texie Camp Marks Center was completed in January 1996. Today, it is a vibrant early head start facility, serving children and their families.

Mease retired in October 2013 following 30 years of service. The center’s board of directors decided to honor her and the original philanthropists by naming the building in their honor.

The Children’s Center serves over 1,300 children per year in Franklin, Suffolk and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties with head start, early head start, community childcare and early intervention services.