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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Starting Place moving to Clearview center

Monday, February 18, 2013

By SAM JACKSON - Bulletin Staff Writer

The Starting Place soon will get a fresh start in a new location.

After spending four years at the Liberty Fair Mall, the children’s resource center is preparing to move to the Clearview Early Childhood Center at Clearview Elementary School, 800 Ainsley St.

The Starting Place is run by Smart Beginnings of Martinsville & Henry County. It is a coalition of 15 organizations and businesses helps parents develop responsibility and find resources for their children’s social, emotional, physical and academic needs.

Among the partners is the United Way of Henry County and Martinsville. United Way Executive Director Tiffani Underwood said Friday that The Starting Place’s leaders had begun looking for a different site as the end of its lease at the mall approached. The lease will terminate at the end of February, she said.

When they discovered there was space available at Clearview, she said it seemed like an ideal place to move.

“We thought it would be a good partnership to get referrals,” Underwood said. “It does make it very convenient for families using the early learning center” to go to The Starting Place to identify useful resources.

“If a student is already at Clearview, and maybe they need additional help, if they make a referral to us, then we’re already right there,” she added.

Though the mall had offered good visibility and a well-known location, Underwood said The Starting Place’s needs are changing, making the move to a school more ideal.

“We’d had Superkids Saturdays and My Child and Me Wednesday at the mall,” she said. “But we had begun to phase them out.”

With less need for the physical space for such programs, she said, moving to a different location made sense.

Underwood said the location at Clearview will offer slightly less physical space, but the proximity to the school more than makes up for it.

As for the move, “we’re trying to get that process moving,” she said. “We’re going to move boxes within the next week or so.” Underwood expects the move to be complete before March 1.


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