History of Sandcastle & LA Hearing CenterA Timeline of our Milestones
On May 6, 1996, Sandcastle Preschool Program opened its doors at 168 East Avenue in Lewiston, welcoming a dozen children; six of those children had delays in their speech and language development.
On June 12, 1998, Sandcastle moved to 144 Howe Street in Lewiston, adding additional teachers and an occupational therapy component to our repertoire. At that time Sandcastle was the first preschool program in Lewiston Auburn that was inclusionary.
From day 1 we made a decision that children with special needs would no longer be separated and that our classrooms would be composed of a mixture of children. Sandcastle’s goal was and still is to this day that children graduating from our program at age 5, who had special needs, would transition directly into a regular classroom and not be segregated from their peers. We are proud to have been on the cutting edge of mainstreaming, and proud to be educating kids to be open minded, with open hearts.
Sandcastle Preschool Program became a non -profit and changed our name to Sandcastle Preschool Program Foundation, adding a board of directors. Becoming a non-profit allowed Sandcastle to partner with other non-profits, including United Way, Seniors Plus, Promise Early Education Center and Advocates for Children.
By 2002, Sandcastle had 4 classrooms, all of which were used for our therapists providing physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and special education, in addition to regular, early childhood education.
Sandcastle was pleased to become NAEYC accredited. NAEYC, an acronym for National Association for the Education of Young Children, takes the basic licensing requirements, required by the State, to a whole other level, and indicates that this is a high quality program. It is a level of accreditation that only approximately 9% of programs nation-wide achieve.
In 2008, a 2nd location on 918 Sabattus Street in Lewiston was added, allowing Sandcastle to expand its delivery of services, including speech and language therapy to our preschool programming.
One year later, in 2009, Sandcastle expanded again, adding mental health services. Additionally, we became a licensed speech and hearing center, adding audiology to the venue of services all the while planning to build a new facility at 72 Strawberry Avenue in Lewiston!
August of 2010 we moved our services and facilities to Strawberry Avenue which included, multiple classrooms, rooms with equipment designed to accommodate our therapeutic programs and state of the art audiological services.
In 2011, Sandcastle established LA Hearing Center. We already had a reputation for providing pediatric audiological services, and this new entity would provide us with the opportunity to provide hearing healthcare for all ages. This year we launched our first Maine’s Got Talent fundraiser.
We expanded LA Hearing Center, which is our audiology service line, serving both pediatric and geriatric clients. An open house/ribbon cutting event in September allowed us to show off our newly renovated and expanded space and additional capacity to serve (from one audiologist to five audiologists).