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Hammitt School - Something Special

First year Baby Fold Teacher Therapist Bailey Jones is no stranger to investing in children who need special attention. “Before coming to The Baby Fold, I taught in an orphanage in India. While we have so many more resources to help kids here in America, the need for love and acceptance is the same. All children, no matter their life circumstances, are looking to us to guide and protect them. To teach them and to show them how to be the very best person they can be," shares Bailey.

As the new school year begins here at The Baby Fold, Bailey is off to a great start! Her classroom is colorful, bright, and inviting and depending on the needs of her students, Bailey can utilize a variety of learning spaces from which to connect and teach. When asked ‘What makes Hammitt a special place?’, Bailey was quick to smile stating “It’s a safe place for all kids to be loved and respected no matter what they have experienced in the past.” Bailey and her Teacher Therapist Assistants Phyllis Sproull and Kristi Brennen continually let students know they are cared for. “We are always looking for the ‘why’ behind the behavior so we can address the underlying issues in each of their lives. There is a sense of understanding each child and what he/she needs moment by moment. Hammitt School is a place where every child has a voice, and every child is heard.” Bailey adds that she is impressed with the large support team surrounding each child—family and staff working together to help everyone be their very best!

Pardon our Dust!

Our Hammitt School is growing and expanding! The Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Children’s School (ISSCS) has been a familiar Normal, IL landmark to longtime local residents. Founded in 1865 as a home and school for civil war orphans, the complex has been home to hundreds of children. The Baby Fold purchased and completely renovated the historical building in 1999, renaming it ‘The Family Center’. Since then, it has been a beautiful location for Baby Fold staff to be about their vital work with children and inviting families to gather, learn and grow together.

Now, in order to meet the growing community need for special education and to best utilize our existing space, The Baby Fold is repurposing 612 Ogelsby Avenue, transforming the space back into a school once again. In the fall of 2018, our Hammitt Junior/Senior High School students will move into the new space from their rented location on Towanda Avenue. A new office on Susan Drive in Normal currently houses many of our staff during the months-long renovations.

The Baby Fold is pleased to return this historical building to a school once again while continuing our noble purpose: to provide a safe and loving environment for children who need special education, family support, and hope. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting time in Baby Fold history!

We're Expecting an Expansion!

Have you heard? Our Healthy Start program is EXPANDING into Champaign County! Increasing our early intervention efforts means we will be able to help MORE young, first-time parents form and sustain healthy bonds with their babies----breaking cycles of abuse with a proven 98% success rate! Children in our Healthy Start program go on to lead lives free from the abuse and trauma that eventually would require DCFS intervention. Putting children on a successful path early in life is a recipe for strong, healthy communities for all! Click HERE  to help us reach more babies today!

New Charitable IRA Rollover Rules Can Support The Baby Fold

Some people get stuck with a higher tax bill when they take their required minimum distribution from their IRA. Now, the new Charitable IRA Rollover laws allow individuals age 70 ½ and older to make direct transfers right from their IRA to charities like The Baby Fold  - without having to count the transfer as income! That's good news for everyone. IRA rollovers help us keep kids and families happily "rolling along". 

To learn more about how you can support The Baby Fold’s vital work with children and families through a Charitable IRA Rollover, contact Norris Porter, Assistant VP for Major Gifts & Planned Giving at: nporter@thebabyfold.org or (309) 451-7204.

Festival Fun for All

Here at The Baby Fold, excitement is building for the 24th Annual Festival of Trees, November 17-19! The Chairs of Gingerbread Village have been busy helping others learn the tricks to making creative gingerbread decor, new Christmas trees have been ordered and stand ready for garland and sparkling ornaments, and even local businesses are getting into the spirit as they sponsor our event. It takes many hands to make the Festival an event that successfully supports The Baby Fold's impactful work with children and families. To learn more about how you can volunteer your time and talents, click HERE. To sponsor our Festival, contact Jessica McLane at jmclane@thebabyfold.org


To Know is to Love

If you've not had the chance to tour The Baby Fold campus, please join us! You'll hear incredible stories of our early days with retired Methodist Deaconesses, learn how we've evolved over 115 years, and see how we remain dedicated to creating positive and lasting change in the lives of children and families. To know what what we do...is to love what we do!

Tours take place at 108 E. Willow, Normal on the Second Tuesday of each month from 11:30am - 1pm, light lunch included. Contact Kate Kirby at kkirby@thebabyfold.org to RSVP today!