Who We Are
Welcome to Community Childhood Learning Place, an educational and care program serving the children of Castine, Blue Hill, Penobscot, Sedgwick, Orland, Bucksport, and Brooksville ages 4months - 5years with an after school program for Pre-K to 5th grade students. Our program runs daily from 7:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., Monday through Friday. Licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services as well as involved in the review process to receive accreditation through National Association for the Education for Young Children.
Our days are filled with exploration and problem solving as the children learn, develop skills, and broaden their understanding of their environment through the Reggio Approach curriculum.  The framework for the curriculum is the Maine Early Childhood Guidelines. Each child is assessed using an evaluation observation form designed to include 72-objectives in core curriculum areas that are reviewed with parents twice a year. We are also excited to offer an after school program and summer camp experience for children up to 12-years-of-age that focuses on STEAM. 

Community Childhood Learning Place provides quality and positive interactions through a play-based discovery approach to learning using the environment to build a strong foundation for your child and to enhance the potential of each child. The Community Childhood Learning Place environment was designed by Mohr Architect to provide a secure interactive flow to create curiosity and creativity in children's interactions and learning. The art room serves as our core. Projects in symbolic languages can be started and worked on over days, weeks, or months. The room is flooded in light, encouraging cognitive development.


Dr. Nancy Sayre


Board President/Acting Director

Nancy Sayre, Ph. D., Professor Emeritus, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, was an Early Childhood Professor and founder/Executive Director of the Siler Early Learning Complex. She retired as the Dean of the Clarion University College of Education and Human Services overseeing five academic departments. In addition, Nancy has written two text books, published numerous refereed papers and has made international, national, and state presentations. 

Ren Albon



I am so fortunate to be able to not only lead our team of amazing staff but to work with our school age students as we nurture their curiosity and artistic spirit. When not at school I enjoy going on outdoor adventures with my three kids and working on my small hobby farm here in Castine. 

Hale Akin Asyali

Mimmo Room - 4mon to 2.5yrs

Hi, I’m Mrs. Hale! I am the teacher in the Mimmo Room. I have a degree in Guidance and Psychological Counseling and worked as a school counselor and deputy director in private kindergarten, elementary and middle schools for 17 years. I enjoy giving the best support for the physical, emotional, behavioral, and mental growth of our youngest students. I love them.

Valerie Hoffman

Piccolo Room - 2.5 to 5yrs

Hi! I'm Miss. Valerie! I'm the teacher in the Piccolo Room. I have two degrees in Forest Technology and Natural Resource Sustainability from Paul Smith's College. In college I worked as a tutor and in summers worked at an environmental education camp. This is my second year in early childhood education. In my free time I like to hike, travel, train my dog Bear, and compete in timber-sports. I'm excited to facilitate opportunities that will guide the children's growth. 

Katie Evans

Assistant Teacher

Hi, I'm Miss Katie! I am the assistant teacher at CCLP. A student myself, I am currently finishing two degrees at the University of Maine in Elementary Education and Childhood Family Relations. I recently added a black lab puppy to the family, Lucy who we call Goose for fun and enjoy taking on walks. 


STEAM is a teaching methodology that uses the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics to engage and encourage children's inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking skills. Instead of treating each area as an isolated topic, STEAM combines areas and allows the students to develop stronger creative problem solving skills. Our staff in the after school program offer weekly STEAM challenges for the students to solve either individually or within a group setting. 

To see some of the challenges our after school students have taken on in the past, check out our gallery

The Reggio Emilia Approach

Our curriculum is an emergent curriculum based on the Reggio Emilia Approach. Centered around the image of the child, our teachers observe the children interacting with the environment, ask questions, and enhance and guide learning using a variety materials and equipment in the teaching environment. Through the use of natural materials, paint, chalk, crayons, clay, drama, music, and light table the children will develop knowledge and skills about topics related to their interests. The indoor and outdoor learning environment revolves around the child and is enhanced by community trips.

For more about the Reggio Emilia Approach visit the Reggio Emilia website.

Our Staff

PO Box 344

39 State Street

Castine, Maine 04421




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