Darci Bolner made a lot of calls 13 years ago. It was time to pursue a dream that she was uniquely qualified to do, and is sure she was created to do. Trouble was, no one knew her in her new town of Luther. And yet she persisted, and finally she got somewhere with her calls. Soon the doors at her new childcare center opened.
Darci is forever grateful to Rev. Harold Straughn, formerly of the Luther First Christian Church, who let her use space at the church building in October of 2010. The first child enrolled was named Adam; the boy’s name was a hopeful sign to Darci referring to the Biblical Adam. Two more children enrolled, then a few more, and by Christmas of that same year there were 20 students, and the town’s new daycare was full.
Fast-forward 13 years and Apple Creek Learning Center celebrated its anniversary with cupcakes earlier this month. Each year of business is a blessing to Darci. And indeed, the business is a service to a town that needs quality childcare for its youngest residents.
Apple Creek is In its own building now over on Birch Street. With secure and cozy spaces for the babies, toddler and older kiddos for holistic care and educational development, there’s also play areas and a big backyard for the children who come ages six weeks to 12 years old. Darci put her dream, and her education, including a master’s degree in early childhood education, in service to her new community.
A native of Norman, it was a log cabin built by Greg Roy that drew Darci and her husband to the Luther area. The couple had one little boy who is now a college student, and it wasn’t long until the Bolner’s discovered they were expecting twins!
The daycare idea meshed Darci’s passion, education and experience with a desire to stay with her children when they were little. The twins are now at Luther High School and work part-time at Apple Creek along with a dozen qualified employees, some of whom were also once Apple Creek kids.
In the afternoons when the big kids come in from school, “Miss Darci” pushes the swing and gives plenty of hugs while she listens to excited chatter about Halloween costumes, homework and other headlines from their days.
Each anniversary, Darci remembers how it all began. She is grateful for those first families who trusted her with their precious children, especially Patrice Christy. “When she brought Blake to us, people took notice because she was such an upstanding Luther person,” said Darci. It helped the “new girl in town” with her business.
Bolner, her family and Apple Creek are not new to Luther any more, with Apple Creek a vital Luther business that plays an active part in supporting the community, school and town. Happy Anniversary.
Darci…Congratulations on your anniversary! Your love of children is your gift to our community. God brought you into my family’s life after the loss of Jerry. Your kindness and your love of your dream, Apple Creek, provided a world of joy for my son during our family’s healing process. Not only were wonderful memories made there, I made a dear friend in you and Brenda Austin. When you combine all three of our stories, God’s hand was truly guiding the compass to a greater and richer journey. My heart will never forget my treasured talks with Blake. His most famous quote was “Mom, do you know what Miss Darci taught me today?” Thank you for the beautiful memories!