Individual donors and representatives of businesses and foundations that donated money to build, landscape and furnish the new Gloria Ainsworth Child Care & Learning Center got an inside look at the new building Thursday.


 


Center staff and board members hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and donor-recognition reception at the new facility as a preview to the open house for the public scheduled for May 2. The new building is located on the site of the former Ardmore City Schools’ Early Childhood Center off Martin Luther King Boulevard directly east of Fraley Park.


Individual donors and representatives of businesses and foundations that donated money to build, landscape and furnish the new Gloria Ainsworth Child Care & Learning Center got an inside look at the new building Thursday.

 

Center staff and board members hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and donor-recognition reception at the new facility as a preview to the open house for the public scheduled for May 2. The new building is located on the site of the former Ardmore City Schools’ Early Childhood Center off Martin Luther King Boulevard directly east of Fraley Park.

 

All the donors’ names are listed on a large mural designed by Noble Foundation graphic design specialist Keely Jackson and produced by other Noble employees. The mural includes the following quote, “Because of you, our dreams are filled with the richest colors of promise for the future.”

 

“This to me give such an expression of hope,” Board President Janice Parsons said while looking at the mural. “It really represents what we are about.”

 

Parsons said the new facility is about families as much as it is about children. It’s main goal is to provide quality child care with flexible hours to make it easier for young families and single parents to earn a living.

 

She said there are approximately 150 individuals on the center’s waiting list who are hoping to join the workforce as soon as the new facility opens.

 

“This isn’t just a child care center. It’s a family center,” she said. “We deal with the family unit to help families become stronger. We want them to know they aren’t in it alone. I think it helps when you have a community that appreciates you are working and contributing.”

 

The center is now operating at 1220 L St. N.E. in a 50-year-old building owned by the Warren Memorial United Methodist Church. The new facility will allow the staff to increase the number of children served at any one time from 98 to 196, and total enrollment may range between 300 and 400. The center accepts children from 6 weeks to 12 1/2 years of age and provides care seven days a week. Parsons said the facility may eventually open 24 hours a day if the community will support it.

 

The center also operates a health and wellness program for the families it serves. Health screenings and other services are offered during times that are convenient to hourly wage earners who can’t afford to take time off of work.

 

“Our goal is to make services available for young families, so they struggle a little less,” Parsons said. “We appreciate that they are working, and we want to make it possible for more families to go to work.”