Wilton cheered loudly when beloved preschool teacher “Miss Sharon” Cowley‘s underdog story got its happy ending nine months ago, when she opened her own school, Create Learning Center. Now, Wilton can say another, “Hurrah!” as all signs point to the school being a great success. Not only has Cowley opened her preschool at 463 Danbury Rd. after many years at Comstock Community Center, but the program has also grown to accommodate full-size classes of 2’s, 3’s and 4-year-olds.

Create Learning Center’s motto is to foster imagination and creativity for children to grow. Sharon not only wants her students to use their imagination, but she also wants to enhance the relationship between the school and the wider Wilton community. Giving back to the community is an essential skill that Sharon weaves into the curriculum.

“Our new garden behind the preschool is full of almost every kind of herb along with many other foods, varying from zucchini to watermelon to garlic. Starting this summer we’ll be using these ingredients to cook for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission that helps feed people fighting poverty. We’ll donate to both the food pantry and the soup kitchen that operate year round,” Cowley says.

Create Learning Center kids taste the salad grown in the garden they planted and tended.
Create Learning Center kids taste the salad grown in the garden they planted and tended.

The kids enrolled in Create’s summer camp this summer will be the first ones to begin cooking for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission as part of the school’s new full-day option. The full day runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while the regular camp day is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Every afternoon the full day kids will participate in cooking lessons and Sharon will make an end-of-the-week drop off at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

Each week of camp consists of a different theme with various art projects, imaginative play and games to go along with the theme. There will also be water play and various outdoor games and activities. Cowley has added a new movie-making component and she says many examples of kid-made movies can be seen under the YouTube tab on her Facebook page.

Sharon’s team at Create Learning Center have worked hard to make the center a great combination of a kindergarten ready preschool program, extended day care hours for working parents and after school enrichment program for children K-8.

According to Cowley, enrollment for the next school year beginning in September is almost full; there are a few spots left in her 2’s, 3’s and K-ready group. This year, Create Learning Center is now open until 6 p.m. to be more flexible for working parents.

“The school busses arrive each morning and afternoon from all bus rounds to help transportation needs for the parents. In less than a year this place has gone from an empty building to an early education center full of students learning, gardening, cooking and fostering their imaginations,” says Cowley, adding, “There’s more in store for Create Learning Center in the future.”