investing in our future at kids retreat
In 2005, Berea, Kentucky faced a childcare crisis. The local Boys and Girls Club suddenly shut down, leaving many families with no one to care for their children after school or during the summer months. Two parents recognized the need and jumped on the opportunity. With the help of many other mothers, they launched Kids Retreat, a not-for-profit organization.
Based in a local church, Kids Retreat provides a safe, healthy and educational environment for children to learn and play after school and throughout the summer. Kids Retreat can care for up to 50 children ages four through twelve. In 2006, 32 children participated in their summer program.
Kids Retreat offers a “day-camp-like setting,” says Executive Director Penny Wilson, rather than a traditional daycare format. These social entrepreneurs plan an array of activities to entertain and educate the children including karate lessons, tumbling, swimming at the local community pool, American Sign Language and Spanish lessons, kickball tournaments and walks through the town of Berea. In addition, they participate in community service programs such as the local food bank. The children are given individual tutoring with homework, learn CPR and talk about proper diet and exercise.
The directors put in many hard hours of work setting up the program. They hired staff, recruited children and planned activities. When they needed to secure funds, they turned to MACED. MACED’s financing allowed Kids Retreat to offer reduced rates to low-income families while the organization sought a child care license from the state. Once they became licensed they were then able to direct low-income families to the Child Care Council for scholarships to attend the Retreat.
Kids Retreat has since gone on to receive state-wide recognition. Just eight months after opening, Kids Retreat was awarded the 2006 Destiny Award by Kentucky Child Now. The Destiny Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have had a significant positive impact on the future of Kentucky’s children. The owners are proud of this significant accomplishment, but they are even prouder of the difference they are making in the lives of children every day.