Little Sun People bring their year-round Kwanzaa to the community

Olayemi Odesanya | 1/2/2020, midnight
Bed Stuy, Brooklyn’s Little Sun People daycare center looked to the eve of their 40th anniversary to try and raise ...
Little Sun People RICHARD LOISSAINT PHOTO

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn’s Little Sun People daycare center looked to the eve of their 40th anniversary to try and raise $5,000 by the first day of Kwanzaa, December 26! Full disclosure, almost two decades ago, I attended this wonderful preschool. Always a lively, joyful, and inspirational show, the Little Sun People sing and dance their hearts out.

For 39 years, the beloved Little Sun People, Inc. has been providing a “culturally-responsive education to preschool learners in Brooklyn.” LSP is a unique community childcare center founded in 1980 by Fela Barclift (“Mama Fela”), mother of four and lifetime resident of the Bedford-Stuyvesant community. Like all parents, Mama Fela wanted the very best for her children. So, when it came time for her eldest to start preschool, finding a setting that was academically enriching while fostering a sense of pride and confidence proved to be a difficult task. It was at that moment the vision for LSP began to emerge. Necessity being the mother of invention, Mama Fela redesigned one floor of her Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone and began to advertise her small, in-home family daycare program. The community noticed, wanted their children to benefit from the culturally-rich, and educationally-empowering curriculum, and requests grew. LSP soon grew too large for Mama Fela’s home. In 1985, under Mama Fela’s guidance and with the help of many friends, Little Sun People, Inc. moved to The Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza where LSP continues to reside today.

Even as much as Brooklyn has changed over the past 39 years, LSP consistently has an overwhelming waitlist of families and, once again, is outgrowing its current space; and as they are actively pursuing a spacious, state-of-the-art facility, they are asking for help from the same community in which they are nestled.

They remain, Mama Fela says, “steadfast in our mission to educate young children by incorporating the story and cultures of all people of color with a particular emphasis on people of African descent, into a robust and comprehensive curriculum designed for the pre-school learner.”

For more information log onto http://www.littlesunpeople.com/