Mother's Club Family Learning Center

The Opportunity

Located in Pasadena, CA, Mothers’ Club Family Center serves 120 children and 110 adults with 22 staff members. Of those groups, 91% of the children live in poverty, and more than half of the parents did not graduate from high school.  The Center uses a dual-generation approach, working with both at-risk children and their parents and focusing on early childhood education in conjunction with parental education programs.


In 2004, Mothers’ Club's host decided to use its space for a new school, and the Center needed to move into a new building. Mothers’ Club turned a challenge into an opportunity to develop a new building and a home that reinforces, strengthens, and supports its mission. 

Innovations and Improvements

Build Positive Relationships:

  • Mother's Club strengthens home relationships through parenting education, mental health support, family literacy, and health and wellness. 
  • Parents volunteer in children’s classrooms to put skills into practice.

Use Nature to Nurture:

  • The outdoor learning center includes quiet areas, art areas, playhouses, climbing structures, and a natural stream.

Create Diverse Spaces and Activities

  • The new building includes flexible multipurpose spaces and promotes ease of transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Foster Safety and Support:

  • Glass walls and windows into the classrooms promote transparency.

Enhance Accessibility and Inclusion:

  • The Center is located in the heart of the community it serves, enabling many families to walk or ride the bus.


  • The Center’s services are evaluated by third-party researchers, and the building is LEED Gold certified.

The Impact

The Center’s commitment to the community was evident throughout the planning process when they actively solicited input from stakeholders and incorporated that feedback. Many parents who have participated in the parenting education program have gone on to become teachers at Mothers’ Club. The Center has a strong track record of success, and parents report that their children achieve or exceed developmental milestones for their age, despite demographic factors that would predict otherwise.

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