Local News

Project Enlightenment celebrates 50 years of helping kids, parents, teachers

Posted October 5, 2019 3:05 p.m. EDT
Updated October 5, 2019 7:44 p.m. EDT

— For 50, years, Project Enlightenment has prepared young kids to learn, guided parents on how to raise them and instructed teachers on how to guide them.

Saturday was a celebration of the impact the organization has made on generations in Wake County.

Phoebe and Effie Fitzgerald have great memories of this place.

“I remember we had a class pet,” Phoebe said.

“If it is your birthday, you get to sit in a birthday chair,” Effie recalled.

Amy Fitzgerald can’t say enough good things about it.

“It is just a treasure in the community,” she said.

All three are even featured on a brochure, letting other families know all Project Enlightenment has to offer.

“Such a great start to their educational journey and just a warm, loving, therapeutic environment,” Amy Fitzgerald said.

Louise Taff has worked with the program for 48 of its 50 years. Children she worked with decades ago are now grown and bringing their own kids.

“It is very rewarding, but it makes me feel kind of old,” she said.

Taff is assistant director of Project Enlightenment, which is a Wake County School district program that provides early childhood education.

“Helping a child learn to regulate their emotions, learn to regulate their behaviors, learn to cooperate, learn to share helps them be ready for school,” Taff said.

The program also offers support to parents and teachers.

Fifty years is a long time. Project Enlightenment has moved locations, fought for funding in economically tough times and changed as families have changed – particularly with new technologies.

It’s these kids that keep Taff coming back.

“It still warms my heart to get up every morning and come to work in a place that values young children and families,” she said.

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