Years ago, as part of a strategic planning session, former Executive Director Vicky Smith, along with the Board of Directors, sketched out an informal timeline of King Street Center’s history. We share it here for posterity and celebration.
Grassroots Inception Era – 1970s and early 1980s
King Street Area Youth Program founded in 1971 as an effort by 6 local mothers who had a van parked in front of the King Street Laundromat, some athletic equipment, and a desire to engage kids during out-of-school hours.
Connected with UVM Social Work students, volunteers – leased 141 Maple Street, 2nd floor and then went on to purchase the building. (Read interview with Michael Monte, former Executive Director, here!)
Established the Teen Hotline, Junior Senior Buddy Mentoring Program, and partnered with the United Way
Roxane Leopold Era – 1990s
Roxane Leopold was hired, in approximately 1988, as Executive Director. Rick Davis was Chair of the Board at the time. (Read their recent conversation here!)
First King Street Center Pro/Am Golf Tournament fundraiser in 1990
Successful $1.6 million Capital Campaign to purchase & renovate 87 King Street, with lead gift of $100K from Holly & Bob Miller
Shelburne Farms Preschool Partnership started in 1994-95. At the same time, the Teen Futures Program, the first formal afterschool program from 3-6 p.m., launched
In 1996-1997, early education program expanded to a full-day childcare. The Lemonade Stand started at the lakefront before moving to its current location on the Church Street Marketplace.
At this same time, the programs for children up to age 12 became formally licensed by the state of Vermont. There was significant growth in the Junior Senior Buddy Mentoring Program, and for the first time, meals were not only provided, but reimbursed by the state.
Partnership & Growth Era – Early 2000s
Jake Agna’s Kids on the Ball Program begins, offering tennis instruction on community courts & in schools, under King Street Center’s financial umbrella. A formal partnership with Head Start is forged, engaging families and enriching curriculum in the Preschool Classroom.
In 2005-2008, King Street Center welcomes a large number of children from New American families who recently arrived in the US through USCRI and made the South End of Burlington their home. The Each One Reach One tutoring program started at the urging of parents.
In 2006, King Street Center was able to buy the Red Bus with thanks to the Hoehl Family.
Roxane Leopold retires in 2007, to be honored by the Roxane Leopold Scholarship for King Street Center college-bound youth
Raising the Bar Era – 2010s
Vicky Smith takes the helm as Executive Director in 2007, having served as Program Director for 15 years prior
Early Education and Afterschool Programs are designated as 5 STAR Programs as indicated by the Department for Children & Families
Raise the Bar Capital Campaign successfully raises $5.1 million, with lead gift of $1.5 million by Bob & Christine Stiller as well as a New Market Tax Credit infusion
The new 87 King Street opens its doors in January 2015 with a brand new Toddler Program starting just months later.
Burlington School Food Project becomes King Street Center’s primary food partner, providing daily meals year-round.
Dealer.com and Champlain Valley Head Start purchase a new “learning” bus for King Street Center in 2016.
Associate Director position is created and filled by Dacia Ostlund. This staffing addition helps to bring a new enrichment framework to the Afterschool Program and highest enrollment in King Street Center’s history.
Vicky Smith retires in fall 2021 to be succeed by Shabnam Nolan as Executive Director.