Monday, Nov. 17


Christian Child Care expands to larger, kid-friendly facility     Send a link to a friend

[NOV. 17, 2003]  Thanks to the generosity of the International Order of Odd Fellows, Christian Child Care has moved up in the world. Director Michelle Woods is very grateful for the help and for the building that the center is now able to enjoy. The not-for-profit organization recently moved to a bigger and better facility to better serve the children in our town.

Christian Child Care began in 1989 as a vision shared by several Christian organizations in town. Christian Village, Christian Homes, Lincoln Christian Church, Jefferson Street Christian Church and Lincoln Christian College saw a need for a quality, Christ-centered child-care facility, and so they got together to launch a fledgling center. The mission statement for Christian Child Care states that the facility "exists to serve families in the greater Logan County area by providing Christ-centered childcare, programs, and services in a nurturing, educationally oriented environment."

The center started by using rented space in the basement of Lincoln Christian Church. They had access to several classrooms, a storage room, a small office, and use of the kitchen and playground facilities. Because the playground was so small, teachers often would walk their classes across McLean Street to Latham Park to play. Then, as now, the center served children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age and provided age-appropriate activities and lesson plans for all ages.

Thanks to a cooperative effort with the Odd Fellows, the dream of a building of their own came true a couple months ago. The former Odd Fellows Children's Home and day-care center at 721 Wyatt Ave. has been through a major remodeling and is now once again being used for the care and education of Lincoln's children. The rooms are bigger and brighter. Teachers have been able to create learning centers to encourage children to play and learn.

All of the classrooms from age 3 on up have computers, as well as books, educational toys and lots of bright colors to engage a child's imagination. The floors in the different classrooms are brightly colored tiles, and each floor is a different color. As the children grow older, they know what color their room is and what color they will be going to next. In the former facility, the classrooms were carpeted, and teachers had plastic tarps under the tables for ease in cleanup. They also had to use the same tables for eating, seatwork, crafts and story time. The new rooms have extra centers for different activities, which makes teaching easier and less stressful. The customized areas facilitate flow from one activity to the next.

Some classrooms also have special rooms set apart for sleeping and eating, away from the play area. The toddler room has a special "bathroom" area where the potty chairs that previously were open to view are now separate, to allow privacy.

The infants'classrooms have a ratio of one teacher to four children and have separate sleeping areas, as well as educational toys and activities to stimulate the tiny minds. .

The school-age classroom in the basement is large and includes lockers for storage, tables for homework and a special bathtub filled with pillows for reading time, as well as centers for computer use, art, puppetry and other activities. When the children are not in school, daylong activities are planned for them.

The new center also has two large playgrounds filled with age- and size-appropriate equipment, to provide safe play opportunities for younger children as well as school-aged.


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Even the office, kitchen, employee lounge and storage areas are bigger and better.

All of the teachers seem very excited about the new building, as well they should be.

Although it is an older building, it has been beautifully decorated throughout to capture the heart and imagination of children. The hallway carpets are an eye-catching black with multicolor swirl design, which corresponds well with the different colors in the classrooms and is very kid-friendly.

The walls come alive with murals from the Bible, including a scene of Jonah and the whale, which takes up two walls in one hallway, and a 20-foot Noah's ark in another hallway. Perhaps the most fitting mural is right inside the front door, where a scene of Jesus playing with children greets people as they enter. Indeed, the teachers and staff are bringing Jesus to these children in a very real but very fun way.

Christian Child Care hosted an open house reception to coincide with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new building on Sunday afternoon. Most of the staff and board members of CCC were on hand for the event, as were many members of the Odd Fellows organization.

Many organizations and individuals in the community were recognized for their dedication and work in bringing the center up to the standards required by law at this time. Among these were the Independent Order of Odd Fellows; Mike Appel of Appel Construction; Bill Gossett, who installed the flooring; Barb Kirkpatrick, for her murals; Lincoln Heating and Cooling; Albert Service, for electrical work; and Simplex-Grinnell, for the alarm system.

Jane Priest, who was director of CCC in 1993 and since moved out of state, came back for the event and encouraged staff and board members to keep up the good work because, as she put it, "Children aren't children very long. They grow up way too fast," and we need to do all we can for them while they are little.

Former board president Marianna Taylor commented on the humble beginnings and how far the facility has come. She also read a letter from the first board president, Curt Nordheilm, who congratulated the center on the new facilities and praised God for allowing the growth to occur.

Bobbi Abbott from the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce brought the huge scissors to cut the ribbon. She thanked the directors and board members for providing high-quality child care for the community, stating that it helps the growth and economy of the area, because child care is a very important aspect to consider when moving to an area or deciding to bring jobs to an area.

There was also a raffle at the event, with prizes donated by Super Buffet, GKC Cinemas, First Wok, Family Video, Abe's Carmelcorn, Subway, Joe's Pizzaria and Bonanza, as well as other area merchants and individuals.

The list of people who donated time and money during the remodeling and move was extensive and demonstrated the community spirit that makes Lincoln such a great place to live. Because there are too many to name, suffice it to say that you know who you are, and you are appreciated.

[Ruth Halpin]

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