Welcome from Linda Shottes-Bouchard
Thank you for visiting SHED Children's Campus on the web!
I'm Executive Director Linda Shottes-Bouchard and I'm delighted to share our story with you. I've been with this wonderful nonprofit since 1992 and became Executive Director in 2011, when Sydney Bialo retired after leading the organization since its 1984 inception.
Reggio Emilia Inspired
SHED Children's Campus is an independent, nationally recognized nonprofit offering Reggio Emilia inspired programs for children and youth ages 2.5 to 15 years.
In Reggio, the environment is the Third Teacher. Our home on the stunning campus of Phillips Academy gives your child a pastoral setting in which to learn and explore.
No other local organization offers the natural magic of our surroundings. One step onto our campus and your child enters a timeless place — void of the hypnotic lure of iPads and video games — and full of nature, fun, and exploration.
Your child awakens to being a kid.
Strong Andover Connection
Since its founding, SHED has been tightly connected with both Andover Public Schools and the Andover community. We began as a town program at Andover's Shawsheen Elementary School, first offering Kindergarten and later after-school care programs.
In fact, SHED stands for Shawsheen Extended Day.
In 1986, SHED incorporated as a self-sustaining nonprofit, overseen by a Board of Directors, and licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. By 1991, we were serving a growing population with programs geared for kindergarten to fifth grade. To accommodate our increasing enrollment, we moved to the Korean Church on Route 133, which had room for 120 children.
But we still had another 80 children on our waiting list!
Present in a Rich Past
In 1997, in collaboration with Phillips Academy, we renovated and moved into a sturdy, old brick building that once provided laundry services to Abbot Academy — a former private girls school that merged with Phillips in 1973.
If you follow the well-worn path through Abbot Woods on the south side of our campus, you arrive at The Secret Garden and a plaque. Etched into the stone is a poem by famous poet T.S. Elliot, who had a relationship with Abbot Academy drama teacher Emily Hale. The plaque memorializes the school's rich, 150-plus year history and all those who walked through its halls and trod the very same path that we do today to The Secret Garden.
Each season, we are present with a new color that fades to our past.
Keeping the Abbot Spirit Alive
I hope you watch the Abbot Academy video at the bottom of this page. It's local history about a fascinating school from a different time. You hear the stories of women who spent impressionable years here in Andover and grew to love their school. Some remember the Phillips Academy merger and the sense of loss that Abbot will no longer exist.
We've named three of our social channels in honor of the woods the Abbot students once explored and that our children do today:
SHED Children's Campus Now
Today, we call the renovated Abbot laundry building the SHED building. It's home to our administrative offices and preschool programs. Across the way, and a quick walk through one of our organic gardens is Kid's Club, built in 1998 for our after school care programs. However, this building now serves a growing number of younger children.
Now children from across the town have a common playground.
Now our name is SHED Children's Campus, a big umbrella of a name to capture our history — SHED, for the Shawsheen Extended Day program from which we began — and Children's Campus to capture everything we offer today — our full range of Reggio Emilia inspired children's programs, our buildings, The Secret Garden, Abbot Woods, our 15 organic gardens, our playgrounds, our open spaces, our stately Elm trees, and the changing lens of New England seasons through which our children see their world.
See What's Possible
I invite you to visit the different pages on our site to see what's possible at SHED Children's Campus.
Watch our Video Tour to see SHED in action and please schedule a visit to see SHED Children's Campus in person.