Robinson Community Learning Center moves to new location, continues serving community
Dagny Brand | Thursday, September 30, 2021
After 20 years serving the South Bend community, the Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC) moved into a new location with state-of-the-art facilities, ready to provide for the community for many years to come.
“There are things that people in our community would never have the opportunity to do. That’s why we are here. To give them those opportunities,” RCLC Adult Program Coordinator Lu Ella Webster said.
Since 2001, RCLC has served as an educational center for people in the South Bend community and beyond, offering a wide range of programs for ages 0-96 years old.
These include after-school tutoring for kids of all ages, Take Ten conflict-resolution classes, a Shakespeare program, Lego Robotics, licensed preschool and child care, as well as computer programs and a book club for seniors.
They offer “a variety of different things to enhance the enrichment of the students and the seniors that come to our center,” mentioned Webster.
In June, RCLC relocated to a brand new facility located near the new Trader Joe’s on Eddy Street.
“The University promised the community that there would always be an RCLC, and 20 years later, they kept their promise and built a new facility,” Webster said. “We don’t just have more space; we have a bigger and better facility. We have state-of-the-art computer equipment. We have a maker space where children and adults can create things.”
Webster went on to discuss RCLC’s new black box theatre for their Shakespeare program and industrial kitchen, which they will use to cook meals for children once permitted by the pandemic. The preschoolers who played in a parking lot in the old building now have access to their own playground area where they can get some fresh air.
The move was long overdue for RCLC, and small things like windows and a gathering space have made all the difference.
“It’s the little things that make you feel good,” Webster said.
Webster said the RCLC encourages students at Notre Dame and others in the local community to reach out and get involved in the center.
“There’s a lot you can do for the community just by calling and saying, ‘Hey, how can I be a part of RCLC?’” she said. “Volunteers are always welcome, no matter what your age is.”
Anyone who wants to get involved can call 574-631-8759 and speak to manager Jennifer Knapp Beudert, assistant manager Andy Kostielney or Webster to learn more.
RCLC recently partnered with the Boys and Girls Club in St. Joseph County to extend their reach. Their Shakespeare program has taken children to Europe, and their robotics team has gone to Germany.
Now, with this new location, RCLC will be able to do even more.
Webster expressed her excitement for the future, saying “this building is truly a blessing to the community, and we hope to continue to grow and reach out into the community.”