Bruce Hallquist, Summerland Charity Shop Society director; Mary Ellen Heidt, Child Care Centre campaign committee chair and Orv Robson, Penny Lane Legacy Fund chair pose after the fund donated $5,000 in support of Okanagan College’s Little Learners’ childcare. Submitted photo

Summerland charity supporting students with investment in child care

Penny Lane invests in Okanagan College childcare

Summerland charity’s gift to the new child care centre at Okanagan College is helping give South Okanagan families peace of mind and access to quality child care.

The Summerland Charity Shop Society, which formerly ran Summerland’s Penny Lane Bargain Outlet stores, announced a $5,000 donation to the new Little Learners Academy at the Okanagan College Penticton campus.

“It’s challenging for parents to find child care,” says Orv Robson, chair of the Penny Lane Legacy Fund.

“Little Learners provides a solid start to learning for children and makes it easier for their parents to pursue the next step of their education.”

Related: Merchandise often changed at Penny Lane

Putting youth and education is at the forefront of what Penny Lane does. In 2013, with the closing of its retail stores, the board of directors of the society created the Penny Lane Community Legacy Fund with the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen. The fund invests in the community with a focus on youth projects.

According to Robson, supporting Little Learners fits in with their mandate to make access to education more equitable for youth.

“The centre will be a benefit for students and families today and for years to come,” said Robson. “It’s a gem for the Okanagan Valley.”

Related: Penticton youth centre gets $50,000 boost

Penny Lane has a long history of assisting students at Okanagan College and has supported two student bursaries annually since 2011.

“Penny Lane continues to make an incredible impact in the region, and we’re very thankful to be receiving this generous donation,” said Mary Ellen Heidt, chair for the child care centre campaign.

Little Learners opened in September 2017 and is operated through a partnership between Okanagan College and OneSky Community Resources. Registration is open to College students and employees, as well as families in the South Okanagan.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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