Our history dates back to 1913, when Mollie Woods, a Philadelphia schoolteacher, sought to establish a new type of educational and residential center, specifically to support children with exceptional needs.
Mollie’s vision was to provide care for the exceptional child in a home-like environment that would foster the ability “to meet the problems of everyday life, to make normal adjustments, to acquire sources of satisfaction for the present as well as for later years, and to know the joy of achievement.”
Mollie’s determination, pioneering leadership, and innovative approach that was centered on creating an individualized program of supports for each person, was well-received resulting in growth that necessitated a move from her farmhouse in Roselyn, PA to Langhorne in 1921.
The move to Langhorne signaled an incredible period of growth and international recognition. In 1934, Mollie opened The Research Center, which introduced a scientific basis to the methods of supporting and advancing the capabilities of the exceptional child. Woods became an international leader in the field, sponsoring yearly conferences and publishing journals that featured the best minds in the field.
Over the past century, we have grown from a 25 student farmhouse school, to a world-renowned private non-profit organization serving more than 600 children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Mollie worked tirelessly, as we will, toward the realization of her original mission: to advance the quality of life and standard of care for individuals with disabilities.