At 9 years old, Johnny Bewley has already been on the UB basketball court, sharing the floor with some of the nation’s best intercollegiate athletes. He’s also been to the UB Solar Strand on the North Campus, later talking about the visit’s details in an interview broadcast on local television. He’s worked with the Office of Sustainability to microscopically examine water from Lake LaSalle. And he’s attended an ecology walk that provided lessons he reminds his parents about whenever he sees an item in the trash that should be in the recycle bin.
All of these experiences are part of the curriculum designed by the UB Child Care Center, a state-licensed and nationally accredited center serving the children of UB students, faculty and staff.
Johnny’s parents, Michele Bewley, a UB project manager, and her husband, John Bewley, an archivist in the university’s Music Library, enrolled their son in 2005. Johnny graduated from the pre-kindergarten program when he was 5, but has remained a participant in the center’s vacation club and summer camp.
“The experience has been fabulous,” says Michele Bewley. “It keeps his mind engaged and gives me a peace of mind knowing that he is part of this high-quality, affordable resource.”
Bewley says her son is always talking about his experiences, and she wants to do the same in order to encourage others to support the center.
“We’re investing in our children when we give to the UB Child Care Center,” she says. “Those without kids can still give, investing in the future of our community.”
And many have stepped forward, donating time and talent as well.
“As part of the UB community, parents enrich the experience by lending their unique skill sets to the center,” Bewley says. “Parents with specialized knowledge have improved the lunch menu, helped develop the center’s website, and helped establish the center’s budget.”
Not every kid in the program will go on to make the starting lineup of the UB basketball team, but Bewley says all the kids in the program are glowing with enthusiasm.
“Enrolling my son in the UB Child Care Center was one of the best decisions I made as parent.”