Business Close-up: After school fun at Old School Arts and Learning Center
What a child learns after school can be just as valuable as what they learn during the school day and that’s a philosophy Louise Perreault, owner and operator of Old School Arts and Learning Center in Rhinelander, truly believes in.
Louise has two programs she offers families looking for a fun and safe place for children after school or on non-school days. And she offers parents the option of drop-in services or regular scheduled times.
One program is for children ages 5 to 7 and is held at the First Congregational United Church of Christ. The other program is for children ages 8 to 12 and is held in the old Curran School in Rhinelander. Both are licensed facilities.
Louise brings to her students a wealth of unique experiences and fun activities to explore.
“The programs here are hands-on and unplugged,” she said. “I like to include activities that are also community service oriented. And the ratio of students to teachers is very low so all the kids get very individualized attention.”
In fact, a good example is the variety of lessons the children learn from the garden they plant every year in the back yard at the Curran School. They get a chance to harvest the vegetables and learn how to cook healthy snacks and meals using fresh produce or fruit from that garden.
Another important lesson students learn is the value of community service. Some field trips include the Oneida County Senior Center for playing games, working together on crafts or just visiting, or writing letters to veterans thanking them for their service.
Louise really believes in the arts to make children blossom and she offers lots of different activities children can do themselves such as learning how to knit, sew, weave a basket or garner the discipline to journal.
In fact, Louise has expanded this concept and is planning for many different classes for adults to attend that focus on a variety of activities such as scrapbooking, weaving, spinning wool, paper arts to name just a few. She has a dedicated space for this at the Curran School and is planning on holding monthly retreat weekends where artists and crafters can spend as much time as they want on a project. In fact, Old School is collaborating with ArtStart in Rhinelander to develop classes for kids and adults too.
“After school time should be fun for kids,” said Louise, “and learning a new craft or being able to do a favorite one is very relaxing and that’s what I like to provide for Old School students and crafters, whether that’s a child or an adult.”
The Old School Arts and Learning Center is located at 315 S. Oneida Ave. in Rhinelander which is the location of the former Curran School. When school is in session it is open from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during non-school days. There are two Facebook pages: Old School Arts and Learning Center is one and the other is Old School & Old School Too. The phone number is 715-420-0300.
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