Olu’s Center brings children and elders together


This intergenerational child care center opened July 20 and is currently seeking participants heading into the 2015-2016 school year. Olu’s Center provides care for children six weeks to three years of age, preschool for children ages three to six, and before and after school care for children age six to 12.

(Photo by Raymond Jackson)
(Photo by Raymond Jackson)

The arts, performing, graphic and sensory activities are a large part of Olu’s programming; in addition, math, science, language, etiquette and social studies are also much emphasized in the daily academic routines. All participants receive healthy meals and snacks.

Olu’s is located at 1315 12th Avenue North in a building formerly occupied by The City Inc., which has undergone a huge redesign over the past year.

What really stands out as a statement of Olu’s uniqueness is that they specialize in intergenerational care that includes a seniors program. They are able to welcome up to 10 senior participants who will be historians. These elders will participate in living healthy lifestyles while contributing to positive community development.

Some say the vital missing link to the past few generations has been very little historical connectivity. This seniors program can help to bridge that gap while lessoning feelings of isolation among elders.

Olu’s Chief Operations Officer Candice Ellis-Chapman stated, “With the preschool participants, we want to put emphasis on exercise that will assist in their range, motion and movements. We have theatrical dramatics which will involve all age groups, using experience sharing and using things like puppets to interact with each other, helping to bridge the gap between the young and the old.

“The young can obtain wisdom from the old, while the old regain a sense of purpose and direction,” Ellis-Chapman said. “This is a situation which can benefit all.

“Inner-city cultures must preserve history, and not have to go back hundreds of years to do so. Sharing this history with the young is an absolute must. The arts have a unique ability to bring people together. I have witnessed such, as well as history, which everyone has in his or her heart.”

Raymond Jackson welcomes reader comments to rayjack49@yahoo.com.