For years, I've heard about Project Enlightenment, the Wake County schools program serving teachers and parents of kids ages birth through kindergarten.
Friends raved about the parenting classes. We'd played on their fantastic playground, which is the perfect size for toddlers and preschoolers and is open when the preschool there is not in session. And I've driven past the building on Boylan Avenue near downtown Raleigh countless times.
But I figured it wasn't really open to the public ... that you needed to register for a class or sign-up for a private counseling session of some sort to go in.
Well, I was wrong. Now I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't actually go in until a couple of weeks ago as I prepared this series on kindergarten. Click on the links to see past videos on what you need to register your kids for kindergarten in Wake County and how to prepare them.
Project Enlightenment does offer classes and counseling sessions. But the doors to its resource center also are always open to the public. There, you'll find thousands of books, magazines and other resources to help you wade through those first years with your kids. (You know I checked out books on getting my baby to sleep better at night and a handout on activities for five-year-olds). There's even a production area where you can make educational games and even party favors for your child's birthday party for a small fee.
The resource center is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Working parents should note that it's open until 8 p.m. the third Thursday of each month (except December and July). Be sure to check ahead before you go if you want to use the production area to ensure there will be space for you.
Anne Sherman, the resource center's coordinator, showed me around the other day. Take a look on this video.