Local shop offers art opportunities for children

Creative Kids Place, in Pennytown Shopping Village, allows children to experience visual arts by doing them.

By John Tredrea, Staff Writer
   Editor’s note: This is the latest in a series of portraits of people who work in Hopewell Valley.
   By all appearances, Kelley Pane has great chemistry with children on the topic of art.
   Ms. Pane runs Creative Kids Place, in the Pennytown Shopping Village, Route 31, Hopewell Township, where children 3-8 may experience the visual arts by doing them.
   Ms. Pane’s enterprise has drawn raves from the parents of children who have gone there. Among them is Michelle Schragger of Hopewell Township, who said: “I was thrilled when Kelley Pane started this business. There was no place in the area to take preschoolers for arts and crafts. I signed my two daughters up right away. At Creative Kids Place, there’s a much wider variety of activities than I could possibly come up with at home.”
   Beginning Sept. 10, Creative Kids Place will offer youngsters a chance to embrace the visual arts. Weekly projects to be covered include apple tree plaques, fall frames, leaf tote bags, scarecrows, Halloween trees, Halloween creatures and Thanksgiving centerpieces.
   ”I started the program out of my home in 2005,” Ms. Pane said at her Pennytown installation recently. “I moved here in March of 2006because there was more demand at my house than we had room to meet.”
   Ms. Pane and her family have lived in Hopewell Township for over 12 years. Ms. Pane got involved with teaching art to youngsters by happenstance. “When my sons (Bryan and Nicholas, now 12 and 10 respectively) were in preschool, I got involved with teaching art, just by way of dealing with their being there,” she said. “At Creative Kids Place, I let children work at their own pace. There’s a different project each week.”
   Before starting her business, Ms. Pane taught preschool at Hopewell Country Day School and, according to her Web site, “realized that what I liked doing best with my students were the art projects and imaginative activities. Why not expand on these and create something unique?”
   Fore more information, call 466-KIDS.