Creativity-sparking programs are coming this fall to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center‘s Preschool and After School programs.  The Center is establishing a Creativity Zone for younger children and a Creativity Lab for older students. The new programs will begin October 1st.

Often called  Maker’s or Fabricating labs, these interdisciplinary programs engage children with both high and low tech strategies and design-based activities with both creative and critical thinking, and reinforced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts.  Kids problem-solve and create in an environment where there is no right or wrong answer.

“Freedom to ‘think outside the box’ can be very different from the school day,” Executive Director Marilyn Warren explained. “Our teachers will present challenges and materials but the solution is up to the kids. This is hands-on learning where kids work together to brainstorm, test ideas, and even fail before they succeed. It’s a powerful process of discovery but to the kids, it’s just fun with a capital F. The potential impact here is enormous. “

In addition to the “fabricating” projects, students will work with learning technologies.  Young children will learn basic computer programming skills with LEGO WeDos and Dash and Dot robots. Older children will work with iPads and  LEGO MindStorm. Plans are in place to incorporate a laser cutter and 3D printer in the coming months.

The new programs are part of the MLK Center’s already extensive curriculum and are offered at no additional charge.  Children aged 3 – 5 are accepted into the Preschool. Children in grades K – 4 may be enrolled in the Afterschool program. Preschoolers enjoy a caring yet structured environment, grounded in literacy while students enrolled in the Afterschool program receive homework help and enriching activities like music, dance and art. Meals are included in both programs. Tuition is affordable and, for those who need it, both programs are DHS certified. Scholarships are also available for struggling families.

“These new Creativity programs enrich our already-excellent Preschool and After School ,” said Warren. “It’s all about leveling the playing field for our kids. Many of these technologies might not be available at home, or even in the classroom. “

She continued, “Parents already look to the MLK Center as a resource for high quality and affordable childcare. Now, families will look to us for 21st century skill building, too.”

Enrollments are still being accepted in both Preschool and Afterschool.
A community resource since 1922, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center’s innovative programs for the diverse residents of Newport County provide hunger relief, educational and community support with dignity, safety, and respect.

For more information, visit or call 401-846-4828.

A message to our supporters and donors. A glimpse into the many ways that the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport, RI, makes a difference in the lives of people in Newport County who are primarily, but not exclusively, low income. The MLKCC provides educational, nutritional and social.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

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