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Zazza Fondly Remembered; TLC Early Learning Center Closes Its Doors After 26 Years

May 29, 2015 06:00AM ● By Marjorie Turner Hollman
Paulette Zazza, the director of TLC Early Learning Center, has found many ways of giving back to the community. She served as a selectman and a school committee member, and has also worked for years at the Evergreen Center, a school that provides day and residential treatment services for children and adolescents with severe developmental disabilities.

Zazza’s pre-school, TLC Early Learning Center, has been open for business for over a quarter-century. The preschool/nursery school/special needs summer camp will be closing its doors for the last time June 12th. At one time the school was open five days a week, but recently has been open only MWF.

Linda Gaboury, Zazza’s sister-on-law, who has both worked and volunteered at TLC, recalled a family whose severely autistic child was greatly helped during the child’s time at TLC. “This family saw such a big difference in their child,” Gaboury recalled. “Paulette had the key that unlocked this child. After being at TLC she went on to regular school, is now in college, and has a driver’s license. She is one of our greatest successes.” Gaboury continued, “Working with children has been Paulette’s calling for a long time. Now she’s working with adolescents at the Evergreen Center in MIlford.”

Brian Liu-Constant, Chief Operating Officer of the Evergreen Center, said that “Paulette is very respectful of the children, has high expectations, challenges them, and expects that they will do great things. She’s kind, dedicated, and compassionate, and works many hours with the children. She is very dedicated.”

Gaboury noted, “Everything about Paulette works together, especially in her work with special needs children. She’s tall, her voice is commanding, she provides structure, and she encourages hugging. At TLC we have provided a strict, loving combination—it works.”
“Miss Paulette’s Boot Camp” was just right for one little girl, Rachel Labella of Franklin. Rachel’s mom, Paula Labella Belanger, recalled Rachel’s time at Zazza’s summer camp for special needs children. “Other people intimidated my daughter Rachel,” Belanger noted, “but Paulette welcomed Rachel with open arms. With that booming voice she has, Paulette would insist, ’Rachel, give me a hug!’ Rachel was so small, and so frail, but she wanted to do whatever Miss Paulette wanted her to do. Paulette accepted Rachel where she was and inspired her to try new things. I’m forever grateful for what Paulette did for Rachel. And Rachel definitely remembers Paulette! She was just the right thing for Rachel at the right time. Rachel was only three or four, and now she’s in her twenties, but she remembers her time at TLC—‘Miss Paulette’s Boot Camp.’”

“I have been blessed with wonderful parents who have enrtrusted me with their most precious gift—their child. It has been 26 years, and every day these precious little people made it an adventure that I will treasure each and every day for the rest of my life," Paulette Zazza reflected.

TLC’s doors may be closing, but it’s clear that Zazza’s influence continues to be felt in the lives of many who have worked with her, or been challenged by her. Best of luck, Miss Paulette!




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