The Phoenix Kids Center is open and accepting new students.

The center began with an idea that owner Kori Disney had. She saw that there was a need for school aged child care in Skiatook.

“We have lost a lot of great families from Skiatook because there wasn’t anything to help working parent support their school aged kids before and after school and on days off school. Just because school is out doesn’t mean parents are off work.” Disney said.

The center opened August 19 and is open from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for children aged 5 to 12. The center provides transportation to and from school and the center is closed during school hours with the exception of school holidays and breaks, for which they are open all day.

Phoneix Kids Center is licensed by DHS and accepts subsidies from DHS as well as the Cherokee and Osage Nations. They can take up to 40 students, and spots are filling quickly.

“We received so much support from city council, Dan Yancey and Bob Nail to get this center ready and open,” Disney said. “We really appreciate their support as well as the support of the parents, who have welcomed us as part of their families.”

Katherine Stowe, the director of the center, said, “We give parents comfort and the state of mind that their kids are ok and well taken care of while they are at work.”

Stowe stressed the importance of the curriculum provided at the center. All of the team members have completed Early Learning Guide training to help with lesson planning and activities with a purpose.

“We focus on making sure that kids have a lot of fun, but there is a purposefulness to what we do. They are learning and growing while they are here.” Stowe said.

Team member Cassidy Lamb said, “We focus on homework so parents don’t have to. A lot of parents don’t know how to do the new common core math, and we help with that. We want family time to be family time. When parents get home, they can actually spend time with their kids.”

The center has five team members: Kori Disney, Katherine Stowe, Cassidy Lamb, Ellianna Worley and Scott Disney. All of the team members are cross trained and pitch in wherever they are needed.

“We work really well together,” Lamb said. “We all have different personalities, but we mesh well and that help the kids to find one of us that they can really connect to. We are ready to jump into the lives of these children and make a difference.”

“We are another set of adults they can come to talk to about problems. I know I’ve something right when kids want to call and talk to me in the evening, talk to them about nightmares, a bad day, problems they are having, or get hugs,” Disney said.

Kids are drained, tired and hungry after school. Phoenix Kids Center provides students with a full meal after school and chat session where they can talk about their day before diving into homework and activities. They can play games, do puzzles, do science experiments, create art projects or play outside.

“We make sure no one gets left out. We try to keep the problems they have at school away from here. We focus on the kids well-being and development. Teach life skills. Help kids to be respectful to teacher and parents,” Lamb said.

In addition to providing before and after school care, the center also provides parent nights and days once every six weeks to two months for registered students. The parents have the opportunity to have a date night or to take a day to get some things done without the kids like run errands, spend time together or even just take a nap.

“We really do feel like a big family,” Disney said.

The center is located at 4999 W Rogers Blvd. in Skiatook. For more information call (918) 397-9266, e-mail phoenixkidcenter@gmail.com, or visit their Facebook page Phoenix Kids Center.

Follow me on Twitter @SkiatookJournal.

E-mail lindsey.chastain @skiatookjournal.com

Follow me on Twitter @SkiatookJournal.

E-mail lindsey.chastain@skiatookjournal.com

Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.