Grant provides funds for renovations to Partners in Learning

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Mariam and Robert Hayes Charitable Trust awarded Partners In Leaning Child Development and Family Resource Center a grant that will allow for renovations, including the expansion of the program for children with special needs.

The $20,000 grant will allow the center to redo flooring in all classrooms and add a building that will store equipment for children with special needs through a collaborative program with Footprints In The Community.

“We are grateful to the Mariam and Robert Hayes Charitable Trust for the funds that will allow us to do so much for the children the center serves,” said Executive Director Norma Honeycutt. “The center collaborates with other organizations as often as possible to serve children. We are proud partners of Footprints In The Community.”

Along with new floors in each classroom, the center will add a storage building to house an equipment lending library, which is a partnership with Footprints In The Community.

Through this program, families of children with disabilities may access equipment necessary to allow the children to engage in community activities such as athletic programs, school, childcare, church activities and more.

Without equipment such as a wheel chair, stander, gait trainer, or augmentative communication device, some children cannot participate in community activities because the program does not have a way to accommodate the needs of the child.

The equipment is also often used in a therapy setting as a transition tool for a child learning a new skill. This equipment is often inaccessible to families due to the high cost of purchasing and the lack of loaner programs in the area.

The equipment is currently stored in a rented storage unit, a setup that doesn’t allow for regular staffing or a location where families and therapists may meet to fit the child for the equipment and ask and answer questions.

Through a partnership between both organizations, the equipment will soon be stored at the center and run with the help of Partners In Learning staff and Footprints In The Community volunteers.

“The equipment program enables children with special needs the same opportunities for inclusion and participation that all children have but often take for granted,” said Dr. Ashley Deaton, founder of Footprints In The Community.