Former NOCCS hosts grand opening to unveil new identity and building facelift
VERNON, BC – When North Okanagan Child Care Society preschoolers hopped out of booster seats and toward their rooms one April morning, many stopped and pointed at the suddenly bare school front where there was once a mural of children’s faces below the words ‘West Vernon Elementary.’
“There was definitely some mystery there for a while,” says Hollie Henderson, executive director of the former North Okanagan Child Care Society. “It was so hard, but we kept it all secret, even from our educators, all this time.”
On Monday, six months after purchasing the former school, the society, which has been providing early learning and child care in Vernon since 1994, unveiled the sign that will now glow on this local landmark as well as a new name: Maven Lane.
The fairytale-like multimedia sign features a cobblestone path leading to an orange door (complete with a real doorknob) and an enormous tree, all below brick pillars painted deep purple. As a group of three-year-olds in the Scuola program filed outside to catch their first glimpse, they fixed their eyes on the big letter ‘M’ like a mountain, they flagged both thumbs up high in the air, and they proclaimed it was, “…Just so awesome Miss Shawna.”
“I think we’ve heard the word ‘awesome’ about 100 times today, but I’m still speechless,” says Henderson, standing below the 48 by 8-feet sign as the last cobblestone and letter ‘e’ went up.
Why the name ‘Maven Lane’? In a community where so many organizations’ names begin with ‘North Okanagan,’ the society wanted a name that would stand out and better reflect its unique mission.
“If you look it up, ‘maven’ means a source and a provider of knowledge,” says board member Rob Miles. “We really feel that from parent to child to educator, we’re all learning from each other. We’re also located, well, at the end of a lane.”
Maven Lane moved into the former West Vernon School, its third location, 13 after opening in the basement of Beairsto Elementary School. Over the years, the non-profit, parent-driven society has grown from a single room with 16 children to caring for more than 300 children as Canada’s third-largest child care facility under one roof.
“We’ve come a long way, and it was a huge achievement for us to be able to purchase this building,” says Henderson. “Now that we have our own building and our own name, it feels like we can plant our feet on the ground and get excited about the future. We’re home.”
To celebrate everything—purchasing the school, the facelift and the new identity—Maven Lane is hosting a grand opening celebration June 25. The event, offering music, children’s activities and complimentary barbecue, is open to the public and runs from 3 to 5 pm at 2711 38 Street.
“We look forward to seeing former and current families as well as people from the community,” says Henderson. “And we look forward to welcoming the community to Maven Lane for years to come.”
About Maven Lane
Maven Lane began its legacy of nurturing Vernon children in 1994. Over the years, our parent-driven, non-profit organization has grown to provide child care and early learning for hundreds of children in a warm, inspiring and safe environment. We’re proud of our reputation for giving children a foundation for success with leading-edge learning philosophies, unique programs, skilled educators and a sense of community. Today, we offer a range of infant toddler, 3-5, preschool and school age care programs from our neighbourhood in the heart of Vernon www.mavenlane.org
For more information, please contact:
Executive Director, Maven Lane
250.558.9963 ext 201