For Blount Today
Surrounded by finger paintings, brightly illustrated childrens books, love-worn toys and seasonal decorations clearly crafted by the young, creative mind of a child, its hard not to feel a burst of nostalgia when walking through Fentons Leap Learning Center. A family-owned and operated developmental center, Fentons Leap is more than a daycare or a center for learning; its like home.
Paul and Rachel Brown own the center. The Browns owned the center several years ago when it was known as Miss Tizzys, named for another of Rachels mothers books. The Browns sold the center, but recently had the opportunity to buy the business back.
"God gave me the opportunity to buy my dream back," Rachel Brown said. "How many people do you know that can honestly say they love their job this much? To me its not work; its a joy to be around children."
The name of the center is inspired by Rachels mother, an award-winning childrens author. The name of the center comes from the title of one of mother Libba Moore Grays many books, Fentons Leap. Fentons Leap features a blind frog who eventually finds some glasses at the bottom of the swamp with a little help from a friendly catfish. The book is dedicated to Rachel, who wrote a story about a blind frog in second grade that her mom never forgot. Now, Libba Moore Grays memory will not be forgotten either through Rachels work and the Fentons Leap Learning Center.
But Rachel Brown is not the only one carrying on in her mothers name. Sister Amy Moore Morton started the Appalachian Ballet Company and has set some of her mothers stories to music and dance. Their brother, a former Ringling Bros. clown, also helps by dressing up as different characters once a week such as Johnny Appleseed or a cavity-riddled tooth to teach the childrens lessons in a memorable way.
Rachels father, retired Methodist preacher Eldon Moore, also adds his creative touch to the center. His talent for creating items out of wood enhances the centers decorations. Some of Moores wooden masterpieces can also be found in the centers mobile theatre such as the cuckoo clock and the little mouse house where characters pop out to entertain during puppet shows.
The mobile theatre is another unique feature of Fentons Leap; its hard to miss the bright purple bus that houses the theatre located right outside the main building. The theatre is equipped with Surround Sound, a fully functioning puppet stage, televisions, hardwood floor and plenty of comfortable purple seats available for the children.
Rachel also emphasizes that this is not your typical daycare or learning center. She bases her philosophy on her mothers books, and says you should laugh and clap every time with a child. Children are supposed to be messy; its all part of sensory learning.
But whos to say all the fun should be reserved for children? On Friday, Oct. 27, the Browns will host a Fall Festival open to everyone in the community. Some activities include a pork dinner prepared by Paul, potluck dishes, a Moonwalk for children and a pumpkin patch filled with pumpkins ripe for picking and carving. Come to the Fall Festival to see for yourselves all that Fentons Leap has to offer, not only for children but for the community as well.
Fentons Leap offers its services to kids from 12 months to five years of age. All of the staff members are hand-picked and chosen for their schooling in child development and childhood education with a wide range of educational and professional experience. The center has hands-on activities, educational videos shown in the mobile theatre, puppet shows, skits, two outdoor play areas, hot and nutritious meals that often tie into lesson plans and sorts of other mediums used for teaching children.
The center is certified for 60 children and is a fully licensed
developmental center with qualified educated instructors in six
separate classroom environments, depending on age. There are currently
some openings at Fentons Leap, but they are filling up fast.
Fentons Leap is located at 2934 Topside Road in Louisville, TN,
and open from 6:30 a.m. - 6p.m. Monday through Friday. For more
information about this center, or registration information, call