Yesterday I had the pleasure of touring the Caring and Sharing Child Care Center at Webster Avenue in Rochester. If you are not familiar with Rochester, Webster Avenue is in the heart of the city and is surrounded by some of Rochester’s most neglected and violent streets. The building that houses the child care center is recently renovated and freshly painted. Maybe it’s the playhouse outside the main entrance but something about this building is just down-right inviting. I’ve had the urge to visit it for a long time.
This child care center has 89 slots for child care and because public schools were closed yesterday for Columbus Day, they had a full house. So I guess I was expecting pandemonium that comes from lots of young energy. Instead, I found peacefulness at this center that was difficult to leave. Granted, it was nap time in several classrooms where soft music and dim lights prevailed. But in the older classrooms, there was a lot of learning going on and you could feel the energy but it was it was a quiet, respectful energy. My favorite spot was the 3rd floor where they host the Museum of Kids Art (MOKA). (Those that know me well, know that I want to be an artist when I grow up!) MOKA is also available for hosting children’s birthday parties (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information).
As I stepped outside Caring and Sharing Day Care Center, a Rochester Police car drove by and served as a grim reminder of the “Zero Tolerance” program currently underway in the city. I applaud the city for its aggressive program against crime and violence BUT am ever hopeful that through nurturing and soulful child care programs such as this one, we can raise a more peaceful generation. I pray for the day when aggressive law-enforcement is considered a bad thing.