In the late 1960s Dr. Blanche Podhajski began teaching preschoolers struggling with language at a hospital clinic in Vermont. She was intrigued as to why some of them had trouble making sounds correctly enough to be intelligible and why others spoke as clear as a bell but in only one or two word phrases. She was even more intrigued when these delays would be “fixed,” but would then have the same children come back at a later date speaking fine, but with reading and spelling problems. What was going on in their young brains?
After 15 years of clinical work, university teaching, and private practice, Dr. Podhajski formed a nonprofit, Center for Language and Cerebral Function, providing evaluations and direct instruction for individuals and professional learning for educators and physicians. Funded by a $50,000 grant from the Bernice and Milton Stern Foundation, the Center for Language and Cerebral Function, now known as the Stern Center for Language and Learning, was opened in 1983.
For more than 30 years, the Stern Center has been making strides in the fields of language and learning. Using research-based practices, they have developed educator training programs, established a second location providing services for over 800 students and 1,500 educators annually, and created partnerships with national organizations to help expand teacher knowledge and in turn ensure that children are ready to read by kindergarten.
Stern Center Timeline
Center for Language and Cerebral Function established in Winooski
Renamed the Stern Center for Language and Learning
Developed T•I•M•E for Teachers™ and offered one million dollars in grant funded training to Vermont educators
Relocated to Williston, Vermont
BUILDING BLOCKS FOR LITERACY® launched and disseminated at no cost to over 2,750 early care and education providers through 2015
Promoting Early Literacy Through Professional Development for Childcare Providers published
Established the Cynthia K. Hoehl Institute for Excellence demonstrating best practices and underwriting instructional services
Published “Professional Development in Scientifically Based Reading Instruction” article on effectiveness of T•I•M•E for Teachers™ in the Journal of Learning Disabilities
Relocated to Cynthia K. Hoehl Building in Williston, Vermont
Relocated Upper Valley office to West Lebanon, New Hampshire
Neuroscience of reading study with Dartmouth College funded by National Science Foundation begins
Partnered with National Head Start Association to provide BUILDING BLOCKS trainings
MindPlay Teacher’s Companion released
Transformed Upper Valley office to online only platform – eLearning.