In early 2016, the Wentworth Learning Centre Co-operative was incorporated to establish an independent, non-profit and educational centre for the community of Wentworth, Nova Scotia. A primary focus of the Co-operative is to develop preschool and after-school childcare programs, workshops, adult education and recreation programs. Community events are also important to the organization’s success.
The former Wentworth Consolidated Elementary School has been purchased by the Co-operative. The building provides ample space for a library, small gymnasium and administrative support. Additional space is available for small business start-ups, community organizations, and public services.
The Elementary School closed in 2015. Of greatest concern to the community was the loss of a special learning environment for our children and community.
In response, the Learning Centre provides local, intergenerational learning opportunities for the Wentworth community. Successful fundraising activities have covered initial operating costs of the building. Classroom and gymnasium space has been used for multipurpose activities such as painting workshops, music jamborees, youth dances, preschool and wellness programs. The community library and C@P site has been relocated to the school and is fully operational. Maggie’s Place Family Resource Centre makes use of the facility for a weekly preschool outreach program and municipal councillor Barbara Palmer has an office space. Additional programming includes Girl Guides and Alcoholics Anonymous. In 2018, an independent daycare was started and as of August 2019 has 40 children registered with an average of 20 kids attending daily (aged 18-months to 12-years). The centre employs three full-time staff plus additional student co-op positions throughout the year.
The centre is governed by an incorporated, not-for-profit co-operative founded by members of the Wentworth community. Nine volunteer directors and 95 members are responsible for co-operative operations.