This photo, taken on Halloween in 2003, was posted to the Kids’ Corner Alumni Facebook page in hopes of helping the child care center connect with former students. Executive Director Lori Krupke hopes to get in touch with as many alumni as possible before the center's 30th anniversary in 2020. PHOTO COURTESY OF KIDS’ CORNER

Kids’ Corner seeks alumni stories



BAR HARBOR — Kids’ Corner child care center will celebrate its 30th year of caring for Mount Desert Island children in 2020. The nonprofit is attempting to chart where its alumni ended up in an attempt the gauge the impact the center has had ahead of the big anniversary.

“I realize people are far flung,” Executive Director Lori Krupke said Tuesday. “Wouldn’t it be great if we [could] find out what everyone is doing?”

The project to gather alumni data is being spearheaded by Krupke and Kate Jordan, a former Kids’ Corner parent and board member. The pair started a Facebook group in February, which now has more than 160 members.

“People can reminisce, find old pictures and tag people, having fun going down memory lane,” said Krupke, who has worked at the center for 25 of its 30 years.

She has been “tagging” alumni she is still in contact with in archived photos on Facebook but said many alumni are unaware of the group.

Some group members have posted their own photos from when they or their children were in the program.

Krupke hopes that alumni have kept in touch and can direct more people to the group.

“That hasn’t been successful in finding folks I’ve lost track of,” she said. “I’m trying to get those feelers out there more.”

“It’s just a matter of getting the group out there,” she added. “When you think about it, 28 years at 42 kids and then their families, it stretches really far.”

Another challenge Kids’ Corner faces is limited storage space for physical archives. Photos have been retained from as far back as 1995, but detailed records for alumni have been thrown away to make room for current students.

“With 42 kids, there’s just not enough space [here,]” Krupke said. It’s also a challenge to keep up with address changes as families move.

The group is not yet sure what form the gathered information and photos will take. It may be a catalog or yearbook of information for alumni, including their current hometowns and occupations.

In 2015, Kids’ Corner held a 25th anniversary celebration that was open to the public.

Krupke attributed some of the center’s staying power to the quality of its teachers and the day care’s ability to retain workers.

“Typically you don’t keep child care teachers in the profession as long as we have,” she said. “We’ve put a lot of focus into retaining amazing teachers so we can say we’ve had teachers here for 25, 18 or 16 years.”

Call Kids’ Corner at 288-9503 or request to join the “Kids’ Corner Alumni” Facebook group.

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd is a University of Maine graduate and a former Bar Harbor reporter for the Mount Desert Islander.
Samuel Shepherd

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