CINCINNATI -- Learning shouldn't stop when school does -- especially not for children. The Cincinnati Early Learning Centers, which fight the "summer slide" by offering fun, educational activities for children, will hit the road this summer in a mobile classroom bus to bring that message to a larger audience than ever.
"The mobile classroom, of course, allows us to go to whatever neighborhoods desire the needs," vice president of CELC Outside Services Deanna Lane said. "Versus before, when we were in schools and in a classroom, we couldn't really move out into the communities."
The mobile classroom visits Price Hill, Lower Price Hill and Saylor Park, among other communities, and focuses on providing educational tools in parts of the city that might not otherwise have many available for free.
When they climb aboard, students can read and do activities with the help of an early childhood educator and a resource coordinator, who can also help their parents connect with essential resources such as housing, healthcare and employment. The classroom gives each family materials to take home so children can continue to learn even when it's not in their part of the city.
Alisha Gray has been bringing her 2-year-old daughter, Amani Alexander, to the mobile classroom for two months. She said Tuesday she was grateful to have a resource like it within reach for families like hers that lack access to cars.
There's no beating the smile on her daughter's face, either.
"It's pure enjoyment," she said. "Any chance that she gets with any of the kids and it's playtime, she's happy. That's a plus in my book."