This month, Community Action Marin said goodbye to the Marin Learning Center. A beloved treasure in the community, the Marin Learning Center served generations of children and families in Marin City. Although the physical building which housed the Center will be transforming into a new health and wellness center, the learning will continue to take place at other sites and we are committed to expanding services to meet our community’s needs. Community Action Marin’s commitment to Marin City runs deep—it’s in our people, our values and our approach to whole family self-sufficiency across generations. “Children and their families are the heart of Marin City, and serving children and their families is the heart of our work,” said Monique Liebhard who serves as Vice President of Children and Family Services at Community Action Marin.
Over the years, we’ve continued to operate several sites including Head Start, Manzanita Child Development Center, and Marin Learning Center, each with a focus on well-being and a strong start for all children in our care. Although they may have different names, they all share Community Action Marin’s emphasis on high-quality early education and family engagement. “I feel that anybody that was a part of that community is a part of that Learning Center,” says Margaret Woods-Allen who worked at Manzanita and was a staff member at Community Action Marin from 1988-2018, and a resident of Marin City since 1963. Having several of her friends’ children attend the Learning Center over the years, Margaret states that “it was a very valuable center for young children and for parents also, because it was a place for them to leave their children, go off to work and know that their kids were safe.”
“One of the beautiful things about both centers is that our staff stayed on forever,” says Ruth Nenaber who was site director at Manzanita and with Community Action Marin since the early 80s, retiring in 2016. Manzanita and Marin Learning Center were just across the street from each other and even shared staff. According to Ruth, she still gets “calls from my families because the whole atmosphere of the programs in Marin City were so family oriented.
Although Marin Learning Center is now closed as the community clinic revitalizes the building, children are being served and the agency is deepening its whole-family approach to bring more needed services to the people and families of Marin City, including financial and credit coaching, safety net services, and workforce development through partnerships with other community-based organizations located there. Monique added that Community Action Marin “may no longer occupy 100 Phillips Drive, but through collaboration with community organizations and the Sausalito Marin City school district, we are able to serve more families and offer the programs most needed by the community.”
We want to thank all the teachers and staff, the children and families who were a part of making the Marin Learning Center the special place that it was over the years!