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Step Forward opens the Scholar House Early Learning Center  

Step Forward is thrilled to announce the opening of the agency’s newest location: the Scholar House Early Learning Center, located at the Louise C. Stokes Scholar House, at 2543 Community College Avenue in Cleveland. The center will cater to babies and young children aged 0-3, providing a nurturing and educational environment that supports their growth and development.


The Scholar House itself is owned by the Cleveland Housing Network. The community resource that aims to benefit multiple generations of Greater Clevelanders. It offers affordable housing and wrap around services to low-income college students and their children. It is within walking distance of Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College. The building is named in honor of Louise C. Stokes, the mother of former Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes and former Congressman Louis Stokes.


To live at The Louise C. Stokes Scholar House, residents must be a full-time student with at least one year of the program left at an accredited Ohio education institution, have a household income below 50% of the Area Median Income, maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, and be eligible for the Section 8 Voucher Program. Applicants must also complete a Housing Preference Form.


The Louise C. Stokes Scholar House is located along Community College Avenue

The building offers an on-site study area, laundry services, an on-site workout area, a playground, and more.


“One of the key benefits of having the Scholar House Early Learning Center within the building is the convenience it offers parents,” Laurie Sironen-Kroft, Site Administrator at the Scholar House Early Learning Center, explained. “Instead of having to drive or take public transportation to a separate childcare facility, parents can simply walk downstairs and drop off their children, making it easier for them to balance their academic and family responsibilities.”


Another unique feature of the Scholar House Early Learning Center is its close proximity to Step Forward’s William Patrick Day Early Learning Center, which serves children 0-5. This proximity will allow for a seamless transition for children as they age out of the Scholar House Early Learning Center and into the Head Start program, ensuring continuity in their education and care.


“Knowing their child is receiving high quality education and care allows them to better focus on their own education and learning,” Sironen-Kroft said. “This multi-generational approach is sure to have lasting positive effects.”


The Step Forward team poses for a picture in front of the Louise C. Stokes Scholar House.

The Scholar House Early Learning Center offers a range of benefits for children and their parents. By providing high-quality early childhood education and care, the agency will support the academic, social and emotional development of children during their most formative years. The Early Head Start program focuses on building a strong foundation for future learning and success, setting children on a path toward a bright and promising future.


In addition to the educational program, the Scholar House Early Learning Center offers comprehensive support services for families, including parenting workshops, access to community resources, and family engagement activities. 


The Scholar House Early Learning Center features two classrooms, a gross motor room for the young children, and an outdoor play space, providing a stimulating environment for early childhood development. The center can accommodate up to 18 children, ensuring a supportive and engaging learning experience for each child."



While the Scholar House Early Learning Center is exclusively for the children of residents at the Scholar House, Step Forward directly operates seven other centers, four of which offer Early Head Start, serving a broader community of families in need. Enrollment for the 2024-2025 academic year is underway. A list of Step Forward's Early Head Start and Head Start locations can be found here.


To learn more about the Scholar House Early Learning Center and how to apply for residency, visit the United Way Cleveland’s Scholar House webpage. 

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