January 21, 2020 —The Kendal Early Learning Center (KELC), located within the walls of Kendal at Oberlin, has always received rave reviews from parents, volunteers and visitors. Now The State of Ohio has awarded the program a Five Star Rating for meeting the standards established by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Education. This is the highest designation given to any preschool program. Step Up To Quality is Ohio’s quality rating and improvement system for licensed learning and development programs. The program standards have been expanded from three to five levels and have been revised to include family and community engagement and health promotion standards. KELC is the first program in Lorain county to receive the Five Star rating, and is the second to do so for the entire state of Ohio.
KELC offers a unique intergenerational program, including creative learning experiences. The teacher-guided, hands-on approach makes learning exciting and meaningful to the children. The program serves the children of Kendal Northern Ohio staff members and also the children of families in surrounding communities. Like Kendal at Oberlin, KELC was founded on Quaker-based Values and Practices which are integrated into the program. KELC and Kendal both realize a sense of community, welcome diversity, and advocate continuous learning.
Kendal residents play a key role in the support and nurturing of the Kendal Early Learning Center. On any given day, you can witness wonderful intergenerational experiences taking place. There may be a resident telling a story, while her husband accompanies on the banjo; crafts or hands-on cooking in the Stephens Care Center; swimming and splashing with residents in the Kendal pool; learning about other cultures through resident travels; and all the naturally occurring experiences that take place each day. These are the kind of happenings that make for rich intergenerational experiences.
KELC Director, Jeni Hoover and her teaching staff are the backbone of the KELC program. They have the responsibility of providing educational childcare for preschool children, as well as an after-school program for kindergarten and 1st grade students. They develop lesson plans for each child based on their individual needs, providing goals that ensure that each child is ready to succeed upon leaving KELC. The goal of the Creative Curriculum, which Jeni and the teaching staff use, is “to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive and enthusiastic learners by actively exploring their environment.” And this is exactly what they so lovingly do.
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