Turning a dismal former Planned Parenthood clinic “into a place of light and laughter”


By Dave Andrusko

gI_58807_invitationNever in my experience have I ever encountered a better example of what Natalie Gross of the Lubbock Avalanche Journal calls “repurposing.”

In place of two Lubbock, Texas-area Planned Parenthood clinics, the Institute for Creative Learners is using one space to expand its outreach to children with learning differences and the other to operate a women’s clinic managed by another wing of the parent company, Generation Covenant.

“We were offered an amazing opportunity,” Merinda K. Condra, CEO of Generation Covenant, told Gross. “We were approached to take over the Planned Parenthood locations, their assets and the clinics, and we really viewed this location as an amazing place for Creative Learners.”

In a press release, Condra explained that the prospect of turning the abortion clinic on 67th street and Avenue M “into a place of light and laughter was a significant motivating factor.” Condra added, “[A]s an organization, we could see so much potential. We have a vision. We can already see the children we will serve playing in the courtyard — we can already hear their laughter.”

As a condition of taking over the abortion clinic and the (non-abortion) clinic located in Briercroft Office Park, also in Lubbock, Texas, all Planned Parenthood board members resigned and the abortion clinic was closed, Condra said.

Gross explained that The Institute for Creative Learners opened last year and focuses primarily on helping children with dyslexia. “However, the institute continues to grow and expand into other areas as well, and with 200 children scheduled for services this fall, the need for a larger location became evident.”

“Research shows that these children have an amazing propensity towards creativity,” Condra told Gross. “They are out-of-the box thinkers. They think in colors; they think in pictures. They’re the inventors, the entrepreneurs, the artists of their generation. What we want to do is make sure that their challenges with academic success don’t crush their self-esteem so they cannot achieve what God intended them to.”

What a joy that Generation Covenant also creatively thinks outside the box. They saw a place where life is destroyed and envisioned instead a haven for children who can get lost in a traditional school.

Where Planned Parenthood sees life in black and white—death to the “unwanted” and the “imperfect”—Condra and her associates think in the vibrant colors of life.

Where Planned Parenthood matter-of-factly crushes the heads of defenseless unborn babies, the Institute for Creative Learners works to ensure that difficulties in an academic setting do not crush the self-esteem of children who learn differently.

A great story that can be read at lubbockonline.com.