Experience Based Learning through Play & Serving the Community: a Look at the Oregon Center for Creative Learning

Experience based learning & Serving the Community: a look at the Oregon Center for Creative Learning

The Oregon Center for Creative Learning is a nonprofit invigorating the joy in stimulating evolution in education with experience based learning and play focused modalities. Its programs like those they offer that invest in the community, from the ground up, from the young through to the oldest. 

Who is the Oregon Center for Creative Learning?

Previously known as Kid Time, the Oregon Center for Creative Learning (OCCL) is committed to its mission of revitalizing learning and growth through play for all children. Their new name, accompanied by a new facility and known programs with an intention set to serve children, families, and the community as a whole, best illustrates this ideal and vision. After 20 years in motion since being established in 2002, this dream has taken shape in different ways that encourage interaction that facilitates engaged, experience based learning and education. The Oregon Center for Creative Learning is best known for its 3 programs and offerings to the community: Roots Community Education, The Ivy School, and newly opened, The Children’s Museum of Southern Oregon. 

What does the Oregon Center for Creative Learning do?

With initiatives so grand, the question might arise, “What brings the dream of revitalized education and growth for all ages in the community to life?” For the Oregon Center for Creative Learning, the answer settled on creating and offering stimulating, supportive programs rooted in experienced based learning and serving the communities needs.

From the Clay Studio, where ceramic arts can be explored in a whole new way, to the Culinary Arts Studio facilitating the exploration of the wonders of culinary arts, the OCCL covers their bases in all the hands-on experience based learning opportunities. And that’s just in The Annex, only a part of the expansive offerings designed to serve the community! The programs offered through the Oregon Center for Creative Learning may vary in their structure and expression, but they always come back to the mission and vision of serving the community through experience based learning.

A peek into their programing provided by their website: 

Roots Community Education includes 
  • Drop-in preschool activities for adults to attend with their children
  • Community-based partnership programs 
  • Referrals to other community services for families in need of support


The Ivy School includes
  • An award-winning preschool, continuing to serve young children and their families, filling a critical need for affordable preschool services
  • Providing on-site preschool classes
  • School-based preschool classrooms in several Medford School District elementary schools

experience based learning

The Children’s Museum of Southern Oregon includes 
  • Over 7,500 square feet of space over two floors
  • Interactive exhibits, including a replica of Big Foot which was donated from the Portland Children’s Museum. 
  • New exhibits including a farm-to-table play area, a ranger station, art and maker areas (The Annex and The Makery), and a wildlife rescue treehouse
  • Lyn’s Little Learners, sponsored by ​Hennion Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, a space made for ages 0-3 to crawl, look, touch, and learn all through the power of playful experience based learning
  • The Steam Forest, a groundbreaking exhibit that comprises 4 main exhibits and several smaller interactive experiences, including the Water Lab, Wind Lab, Sound Lab and Light Lab 
  • The Lookout, an honor to the first female fire guard and the work done for the forests
  • The Lumber Yard, an interactive peek into an essential industry of this region

experience based learning      experience based learning

What is the Oregon Center for Creative Learning celebrating?

With so much coming to fruition, the OCCL and the community are celebrating new creations and new expansion potential. The grand opening of the Children’s Museum of Southern Oregon was celebrated in July of 2022. In that grand opening, the portal to learn through play was opened and made accessible to the whole community. 

An extensive outdoor play space designed for preschoolers opened for the Ivy School. This space includes features that engage all students through art and play to again return to the experience based learning module the accentuates playful opportunities found outside. 

And, of course, there is the community engagement to rejoice in, both at the Heart of the Rogue Festival and through hosting museum professionals from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska for the North West Association of Youth Museums Annual Conference.

Show Your Support

The entire extent of possibilities have yet to be explored yet. They look to their next project, the Outdoor Classroom and Events Center- which includes natural playscapes with a creek, amphitheater, gardens, tricycle track, sand play, etc.- and beyond.

Ashland Insurance is committed to supporting the programs that lift and help the community as a whole. If you want to support the continued expression of the Oregon Center for Creative Learning’s dream to elevate education through experience based learning and play, you can donate through their website or over the phone at 541.772.9922. Mailing options available.