First it was a vision, next it was a conversation, then it became a plan and in 1968 with only 25 children, it became a reality…. That vision was to provide a safe, caring and learning environment for children while their parents were working. Through lots of hard work, patience, and perseverance, my mother, Mrs. Julia Shaw, opened the doors of The Red School House with only 25 students in September of 1968.
Mrs. Shaw was employed as a Bus Driver for the School Board of Broward County. My father, Mr. Harvey Shaw, was employed as a Longshoreman for Port Everglades. At that time, they had 5 children and 2 of them were born in the house that now stands as a legacy. In 1966 they (Mr. & Mrs. Shaw) built their dream home (2140 N. W. 30th Way), and did not want to leave a vacant house vacant. So….she (Mrs. Shaw) wanted to give back to the community in which she lived for so long. Therefore, in 1968, The Red School became a reality, located on the corner of 4th Street and 12th Avenue.
The early years of Red School were built on the shoulders of her family. My grandmother, Mrs. Julia Killens, owned the land (and later sold the land to my pa-rents) that the Red School currently exists on. Although the whole family worked at the school at one time or another, the school was mainly run by the women of my family: Mrs. Jewel Ryan (The first Director and Red School’s Curriculum Specialist), Mrs. Florie Styles, Ms. Deloris Shaw, Mrs. Marie Ross, Ms. Sarah Strong, Mrs. Josephine Dudley…to name a few. Many of our former employees (family & friends) are deceased.
After the untimely death of my aunt in 1983, Mrs. Styles, I was asked by my mother to come home in 1984. During that time I was living in Chicago, IL. where I worked for Jet Magazine (Marketing) and Motorola Corporation (Accounting Dept.). My mot-her needed me to become the Director of Red School. In 1986 we were blessed to renovate the school, which previously operated out of 2 buildings into one building…without ever closing our doors. In 1993, the playgrounds were re-constructed to make them safer for the children. In addition, in 1993, all of the teachers became CDA certified. Red School has grown from having only 25 students in 1968 to over 174 at present.
In 1998, my mother, Mrs. Julia Shaw, passed away, leaving me to take complete reign of the business.
September, 2018, Red School will be 50 years old!
We are still as strong today as we were on that September day in 1968. God has always been first in everything we have done. Our purpose has become our passion, to make a difference in our community, to care for children in providing a safe and nurturing environment, to provide educational excellence for each child. In the child care industry you must “care about children” and maintain a personality for being a professional and responsible worker, with a warm & loving spirit (children can sense a mile away).
We are a traditional school. Every morning we start our day with devotion; afterwards, students return to their classroom setting, age’s newborn thru 5. They are taught the basics: reading, writing, math skills, black history, world history, geography, science, life skills events that include field trips to the Laundry Mat to wash their clothes, Field trips to the Grocery Store to expose them to Grocery shopping, Field trips to Wal-Mart for Back to School shopping, Community Clean-up, Cooking, Sewing, Hygiene Classes, Bible class, social skills & development, sign language, 3 foreign languages (German, Japanese and Spanish), performing arts, manipulative skills and homework is sent home twice a week. Outdoor play is part of their daily schedule (twice a day) and Gymnastics (physical education) every Friday at our community L.A. Lee YMCA. We also attend Field Trips to All Disney on Ice Productions, Circus Performances, Sesame Street Performances, and any cultural & fine arts performances that will enhance their exposure to appreciate the world of entertainment & community activities.
Twice a year, their Performing Arts skills are displayed at the Christmas Program (held every December) and at the Graduation Performance (held every May) ages two thru five.
Presently, many of my Teachers were former students. We are honored to say that we are embarking upon 50 years in this business and five generations of families that have supported and patronized us in this community. We are truly grateful and blessed beyond measure.