Now in our 25th year, we have an exciting opportunity to greatly expand our services through the purchase and equipping of the former Kent State golf course clubhouse, a 7,800 square-foot building located on 14 acres in Franklin Township, Ohio between Kent and Ravenna, to house The STAR Institute. This facility will allow us, with your help, to create, a model, nurturing, intergenerational child development and lifelong learning center/community. STARCHILD is an acronym for Service, Teaching, Advocacy, and Research Center for Human Integration, Learning and Development, reflecting a broad vision extending beyond the immediate benefits of a nurturing, stimulating, and health-promoting environment for the low-income and other children enrolled in the program.
An inter-generational community within a nurturing, healthy, eco-friendly environment featuring:
- a model child development and learning center for children birth through age 14 years of age.
- Golden Treasures program in which senior citizens share their time and talents with youth for their mutual benefit.
- Bio-Integrative educational services for learners who are struggling.
- HUGS (Healing, Uplifting Guidance and Support), a youth empowerment and an entrepreneurial program for teens
- opportunities for Kent State students to engage in community service and experiential learning.
- conduct of research to advance knowledge in the areas of learning and human development, and sharing of research results.
- meetings, classes, and training sessions for parents, college students, and professionals.
- “green” technologies such as use of natural materials, solar tubes to bring additional sunlight into the building, radiant heat flooring, and a dual flush water conservation system.
- flexible space within the building so that in the evening and on weekends when the child development program is not operating, the space can be used for other community programs and events such as health fairs and cultural performances.
This building will not only help us to “feed children for a day”, but also “feed children for a lifetime.”
… Highly qualified staff, early childhood pre-service teachers, and senior citizens interacting with pre-school children from families of various income levels to create a wonderful nurturing, engaging, developmentally appropriate and aesthetically pleasing environment, which will include natural sunlight, indoor plants, and mirrors to encourage body image and awareness;
… Babies, toddlers, and pre-school children enjoying gross motor activities designed to develop their cognitive, movement, and social skills.
… In the infant/baby area, lockers for storage and cubbies, painted in rainbow colors, with cribs, rocking chairs, and a carpet area to provide “belly time” for healthful sensorimotor experiences;
… Youth of all ages playing outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine so important to their healthy growth and development.
… Mini-hikes on uneven terrain, communing with nature while building strong bones and healthy vestibular systems.
… Children, senior citizens, and community health faculty and students creating a bountiful garden of vegetables, a process beneficial in itself as well as yielding fresh produce to include in nutritious meals and snacks enjoyed by the children in companionship with each other.
… Delighted pre-school children gathering sun-ripened strawberries, grapes, and other fruit that they have planted.
… Children, teens, and adults spending quiet time in the peace garden surrounded by beautiful flowers.
… Pre-school and school-age children enjoying creative activities, storytelling, reading stories with “grandmas”, “grandpas”, and college students serving as honorary big brothers and sisters, games, science, and nature exploration.
… Children riding tricycles in the cart shed converted into an outdoor pavilion which can also be used for community activities.
… Musical and dramatic performances on the porch used as a stage.
… STARCHILD children engaging in such activities as imaginative play, building with blocks, games, art, music, poetry, stories, drama, science, math, and social studies exploration using a developmentally appropriate approach;
… LoveLight programs such as Tutoring PLUS, youth entrepreneur club, community theater; and community events, for example, a health fair, senior socials, and chess tournaments .
…Fundraising events to generate funds to support a variety of programs for low-income youth.
… Any many, many other possibilities…
Together we can make this vision a reality, promoting healthful child development and environment-friendly living, building successful futures, and making a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of people. If you would like to be a part of this exciting project, please contribute to LoveLight, Inc.