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Old Homosassa Learning Center

By Kathy Green Posted on March 7, 2018

I am always amazed by the generosity of our community! And I’m not talking about just money, but also time and energy.

Back in January 2017 when the Old Homosassa Learning Center committee was deciding on what classes to hold in the learning center, one of our volunteers, Connie Wright, suggested we get a teacher for guitar. Of course, we had no money in the budget for hiring a teacher or for anything else. There were five guitars that had been donated to the learning center and they just sat there like musical décor. I took the guitars to a local music store and asked if they were worth repairing and was told yes so I bought strings and Connie found a guitar teacher. Lantz McMullen not only repaired all the guitars, but also agreed to teach five kids for free for one hour one day a week after school. And Lantz has been doing that ever since.

Lantz McMullen
Lantz McMullen and four of the guitar students at the Old Homosassa Learning Center

When I was looking for a coordinator for the summer program, a local high school teacher Jessica MacRae, stepped up. Then when I needed someone for the after-school program a woman in my yoga class came to me and said that she was interested. Ruth Toner was a retired teacher with a vast amount of experience. Both Jessica and Ruth are amazing with the kids.

Some of the children were just too small to play guitar. They couldn’t hold the instrument nor could they get their hands wrapped around the fret board. I put a request out for four ukuleles. A week later an anonymous donor delivered four ukuleles, four tuners, and four gig bags for the after-school program. And we have a volunteer that teaches the kids one day a week.

The same thing happened with the refrigerator. It was just too small to hold the after-school snacks nor did the freezer section work. I started asking around about a used fridge. And one was delivered. For the Sew Cool! Workshop, a member, Faith Peix, volunteered to coach the workshop plus we’ve had at least seven sewing machines donated along with yards and yards of fabric.

Every time I need more volunteers, somebody steps up. We never have too many—usually just enough.

And our most recent amazing donation came from Torrey and Maggie Dean along with customers from the Seagrass Restaurant. Several weeks ago Torrey, a local resident, came in to listen to our little ukulele players. He decided that all of the kids needed to have ukuleles to take home so they could practice more. Over three weeks, Torrey and his wife Maggie delivered six ukuleles. Now all the kids in the after-school program that are interested in learning how to play have ukuleles, tuners, gig bags, and music books. 

Old Homosassa learning center
Maggie Dean on the left and Torrey Dean on the right

Old Homosassa learning center

Then Torrey again surprised me by giving the Old Homosassa Learning center a cash donation from his friends at Seagrass to purchase ukuleles in the future for the after-school program.  WOW!

I want to give a big shout out to everyone in our community that believes in what the Old Homosassa Learning Center is doing, THANK YOU—YOU ARE AMAZING!  



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