The People's Tribune

The Learning Center Still Strong After 48 Years

In the 1970’s, citizens of Bowling Green determined that children with a disability needed a preschool. Through the hard work and dreams of many citizens, The Learning Center was established. It has had different locations and formats but at its core was always the hope that children with disabilities would have access to a quality education.

Today, The Learning Center (TLC) is a not-for-profit private preschool in Bowling Green which is operated by the Champ Clark Association for Challenged Children, Inc. From the basement of a house at Ruth Jensen Village to its present location on Business 61, TLC has grown and expanded to now serve children of all abilities in an inclusive environment. That is, they all work and play together.

For those children who qualify, TLC provides physical, occupational, speech, language and developmental therapy as well as transportation. TLC maintains a low staff to student ratio with some students receiving one on one assistance.

TLC’s mission is to provide a safe, nurturing environment which includes all children and motivates them to explore, create and learn, regardless of their abilities. TLC is steadfast in its commitment to support each child’s individual stages of learning, including his or her physical, social, moral, emotional and cognitive development.

Presently, TLC serves 79 children. It contracts with Bowling Green R-I Schools and Van-Far schools to provide early childhood special education to children, ages three-five years, who qualify for services.

TLC employs 30 staff and six therapists. It is governed by a board of directors: Laurie Barron, Ryan Bibb, Art Flynn, Tonya Huber, Barbara Ingram, Jennifer Schumacher and JoEllen Storch.

The programming offered at TLC has an economic impact on our communities. Many of TLC’s graduates are now employed in jobs around Pike County. Because TLC provides day care services, parents are able to work outside of the home. Many prior employees of TLC now work at our schools, having discovered a love for teaching and for assisting individuals with disabilities.

Pike County has been a leader in establishing programs to serve people with developmental disabilities. TLC is proud to be one of those programs. We look forward to learning more and doing better. As our motto says “Play is where learning begins.”

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