The mission of The Centers For Exceptional Children (The CFEC) is to educate, nurture, and support children with special needs to reach their highest potential intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically.
The CFEC encompasses two campuses: The Special Children’s School and The Children’s Center, both of which have slightly different focuses in serving children. The Children’s Center has predominantly served children with physical disabilities and/or significant medical issues. The Special Children’s School has focused its efforts on children with a wide range of developmental delays. In addition to preschool and school-age programs, The Children’s Center houses an Infant/Toddler program which serves children from birth through two years of age. The Family Support Network of Greater Forsyth, an outreach program of the CFEC that provides support to families who have children with special needs, is based out of The Special Children’s School.
Our Partnerships in the Community
The CFEC is a unique partnership between the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and the United Way of Forsyth County. While the school system is responsible for the school-day program for preschool and school-age children, support from the United Way of Forsyth County provides a full array of services for infants and toddlers, from birth through age two.
This unique partnership enables The CFEC to provide developmentally appropriate education, a full range of therapies, and medical support to the children they serve. A customized plan is designed for each and every child to address his or her individual needs. With it, every child also receives huge doses of love and encouragement. Peek into any classroom and you’ll get a glimpse of happy children engaged in the very important business of growing up.
Founded in 1952
In 1952, The Children’s Center for the Physically Handicapped opened its doors at the Bohannon House, a home that had belonged to Maude Bohannon Trotman and her family at 830 West 5th Street in Winston-Salem, NC. With an initial enrollment of about 17 children, the program was designed to meet the needs of each child and included music, schoolwork, therapy, recreation, and rest. The staff included a special education teacher, a physical therapist, two practical nurses, and a housekeeper.
In July 2010, The Children’s Center and The Special Children’s School merged, uniting two schools that have been “hallways of hope” for thousands of children and their families. Through collaboration with numerous organizational, financial, and volunteer supporters in our community, we have been able to provide world-class educational and therapeutic services for the children of our community.
The CFEC provides the children we serve with a wide range of programs and services, enriching their lives through art, gardening, horseback riding, music, and many other experiences. The CFEC doesn’t just care for children; we transform children’s lives as they transform ours. Our children are our heroes. Every adult who interacts with our students learns about courage and perseverance.
Learn more about our rich history in the community: view the full CFEC Timeline.