About Us

History

1969 - Julia Williams brought her vision for a program that embraced children of all abilities to a reality in Raleigh at Fairmont United Methodist Church as a half-day preschool program that included children with developmental delays.  Julia who creatively integrated her experiences as public school teacher in the rural South and as a missionary with the Methodist Church and Director of a School in South America for 10 years to develop what would become Learning Together, a program which pioneered the “mainstreaming” of children.  Julia took the concept a step further with a fully inclusive concept guided by an educational philosophy of “Interdependency” and a focus on the positive self-esteem of children as the foundation for all learning.

1975 - The Junior League of Raleigh and a State incentive grant provide start-up funds for Learning Together, Inc. to become incorporated as a private, nonprofit organization.  The newly incorporated Learning Together moved to Forest Hills Baptist Church due to the growing requests for services.

1981 - With the requests for services continuing to grow, Learning Together moves to the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus into the Broughton Building which was refurbished through an incredible team of volunteers inspired by Julia’s passion and commitment to serve more children and families.

1982 - Office of Day Care Services of the North Carolina Department of Human Resources officially names Learning Together the State Demonstration Model for Mainstreaming.

1985 - After 16 years of having a vision, inspiring others, and laying the foundation upon which Learning Together continued to build, Julia Williams resigns to pursue work with the Methodist Church, another passion and calling.  Nell G. Barnes, Ed.D., Program Coordinator becomes Executive Director.

1988 - Learning Together relocates to Downtown Raleigh at 568 E Lenoir Street.

1993 - Learning Together honored as the site for Governor Hunt’s announcement of his Smart Start initiative.

1995 - 20th Anniversary of Learning Together is celebrated. Learning Together begins its community program to serve children birth to three years at risk for or with developmental disabilities.

1997 - Learning Together is selected as one of the first sites for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC’s Be Active Kids Program and the site for the national announcement.

1999 - Learning Together is selected as a Quality Enhancement Initiative Site of Wake County SmartStart.

2001 - Learning Together receives a Five Star Rated License from the NC Division of Child Development, the highest license awarded by the state of North Carolina.

Learning Together launches a Child Mental Health Initiative to provide comprehensive services to children ages birth to five years who have demonstrated serious social, emotional, behavioral, and/or mental health concerns.

2002 - The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) grants accreditation to Learning Together’s Developmental Day Centers. This prestigious recognition has been achieved by only seven percent of more than 8,000 early childhood programs nationwide.

2003 - Learning Together is honored as the Foster Grandparent Station of the Year for Wake County.

2004 - Learning Together’s Child Mental Health Initiative expanded its BEST Buddiez playgroups.

2005 - Learning Together celebrates its 30th anniversary. Learning Together was selected to be a TelAbility partner agency for the WATCH program.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) renews the accreditation of Learning Together's Developmental Day Center. This prestigious recognition has been achieved by only seven percent of more than 8,000 early childhood programs nationwide.

Tees for Tots, our annual golf tournament, is launched at The Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club.

2006 - The Community program added an additional playgroup, offering groups on Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Sweat Pea teacher, Rosa Velez received an Outstanding Child Care Teacher Award at the Tylenol & Terry Lynn Lokoff Child Care Foundation National Awards Ceremony and Executive Director, Nell Barnes received the Dorothy B. Graham Child Care Leadership Award.

Received the Junior League of Raleigh Legacy Award in honor of our “significant contributions to our community” and of the JLR members “longstanding involvement” with LT.

2008 - Learning Together participated in the First Rung Ethics & Leadership Development Intern program with Ravenscroft School. The program provided two high school students the chance to intern during the summer and experience a career in the non profit industry.

Began a partnership with the Carolina RailHawks – two team players worked with the children in the center during off season.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) renews the accreditation of Learning Together's Developmental Day Center. This prestigious recognition has been achieved by only seven percent of more than 8,000 early childhood programs nationwide.

2009 - Executive Director, Nell G.Barnes, Ed.D, is one of the first recipients of the Triangle Legacy Leader Award for her work with young children in Wake County.

Became a More at Four (NC Pre-K) provider through contract with Wake County Smart Start, serving children in two of our preschool classrooms.

2010 - The Junior League of Raleigh Legacy Award was received for the second time in honor of our “commitment to wake County’s Promising Youth”.

Renewal of our Five Star License, the highest possible in NC , with a perfect 15 of 15 points earned!

Began our partnership with Telamon Head Start to offer inclusive "blended" classrooms in Cary, Knightdale, and Raleigh.

Celebrated 35 years of service to children and families in Wake County with a festival at the Knights of Columbus Park.

2011 - Partnered with the Method Child Care Center to offer inclusive "blended" classrooms at their Raleigh location.

Experienced our largest volunteer day ever--130 Cisco employees.

2012 - Tommy Freeman, son of board member Ben Freeman, hikes the Appalachian Trail from beginning to end, 2,178 miles. Hiking for the Stars raises over $27,000 for Learning Together.

Learning Together becomes an official non-profit partner agency of Cisco, furthering our special relationship.

The inaugural Cisco Scramble golf tournament and Triangle Rock, Paper, Scissors Showdown both are held in the spring.

2013 - Renewal of our Five Star License, the highest possible in NC, again with a perfect 15 of 15 points earned!

Our National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation was renewed for five years after an exemplary site visit in the spring. This prestigious recognition has been achieved by only 6,500 early childhood programs nationwide currently.

The Nell G. Barnes Endowment was begun in celebration of her 30 years with Learning Together and her dedication to the program and the children and families we serve.

2014 - We began a partnership with Project CATCH and its member shelter agencies offering child mental health services to the families and children who are living in homelessness.

We began a partnership with Little Pros Academy, a program of Rainbow Child Care Centers & Little Pros Academy. This is our first partnership with a for-profit child care organization to offer inclusive "blended" classrooms at their Wake Med location.

We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Tees for Tots golf tournament!