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Partners in Learning set to open ‘Lion’s Den’

By Kathy Chaffin
Salisbury PostNorma Honeycutt calls the new addition to Partners in Learning Child Development and Family Resource Center “The Building That Love Built.”
Named “The Lion’s Den” after Food Lion ó which launched the project with a $150,000 grant two years ago ó the 1,885-square-foot addition also generated donations from local businesses.
Honeycutt, executive director of Partners in Learning, said Raymond Moore of Air Masters Technologies donated the heating and air conditioning system; Taylor Clay Products donated the bricks and mortar; and architect Jon Palmer, father of a Partners in Learning child, donated his services to draw up the plans.
J and S Custom Home Buildings, the contractor for the project, went over and above the plans at no additional cost, Honeycutt said, while “volunteers have worked endlessly making curtains, painting, moving and cleaning furniture and so much more.”
In addition, Partners in Learning board member David Freeze is working with volunteers to put his design for the courtyard in place for the June 8 dedication and open house; and local artist Cara Reiche, who is the mother of a child at the center, will be painting an animal-themed mural in the entrance of the new building.
The recently-completed Lion’s Den includes two therapy rooms, classroom space for a More at Four classroom for 18 children and a large multi-purpose room.
Honeycutt said the therapy rooms will offer quiet spaces for children to receive evaluations and therapy. Each room features one-way observation windows and intercom systems allowing teachers and families to observe so they can follow through with the techniques in the classroom and at home.
The multi-purpose room will provide space for the center’s three support groups to meet and play groups for families, she said, as well as much-needed space for families and educators to receive training and discuss ways to better meet children’s needs.
“The mission of the addition will be achieved,” she said, “by having access to appropriate and safe physical facilities in which to provide low-income, at-risk children and children with disabilities a place to learn and receive therapy.”
The dedication and open house will be 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. June 8, with the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The program will include singing by the Partners in Learning children; remarks by N.C. Rep. Lorene Coates, board members and parents; and ribbon-cutting by Dewey Preslar, Food Lion Foundation board member and vice president.
More than 100 children ages 5 and younger attend Partners in Learning. Many of them have physical and developmental disabilities and other special needs such as cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome and autism.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249 or kchaffin@salisburypost.com.
 

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