The Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC) was started in 2001 as an off-campus educational initiative of the President’s Office at the University of Notre Dame in partnership with Northeast Neighborhood residents of South Bend. The RCLC staff continue to be part of Office of Public Affairs at The University of Notre Dame. Programs are overseen by a program advisory board comprised of residents, partners, ND faculty/staff, and students.
An estimated 600 participants come through the doors of the Center each week for regular programming. The Center also partners with the community schools in the Michiana area, with program outreach that connects with nearly 8,000 additional youth per year. This level of outreach is only possible due to strong and intentional relationships with community partners and the shared resources of the University and community.
The Center has approximately 7,500 square feet of meeting space and is organized around two broad themes:
Hundreds of college volunteers participate in the RCLC tutoring program each year, matched one-to-one with area children. In addition, the RCLC maintains a commitment to provide a high-quality technology center. Classes are offered in basic computing, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, advanced skills, and more. English as a New Language (ENL) classes are offered by the South Bend Community School Corporation’s Adult Education Department. There is a preschool for the children of ENL students. RCLC is also the homebase of the Talk With Your Baby program, which encourages parents to communicate and use language with their young children. Talk With Your Baby is a multiorganizational program within the South Bend community.
The RCLC welcomes residents and partners to safely gather and interact according to any number of interests and/or for planning neighborhood activities. A library, conference rooms, gathering space, and a community calendar are available for residents and those groups hoping to share the word about their efforts.