VIDEO: Grant adds resources for families, upgrades playground

Published on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 09:25 - Written by

BY EMILY GUEVARA, eguevara@tylerpaper.com

The Retail Merchants Association of Tyler Charitable Fund provided a $12,000 grant to the Family Learning Center of Tyler to upgrade the playground and provide more resources for families.

The center is a collaborative project of Tyler Junior College, the Literacy Council of Tyler and Tyler ISD, according to a webpage about it.

It provides early childhood education and adult basic education classes.

The funds provided for the purchase of a large sandbox and play area, a shade to cover the sandbox, a sandbox cover, the expansion of the existing playground area and seven sets of Read Together Take Home Packs in English and Spanish, along with racks to store the packs.

The playground work was slated for completion today. It was a two-day project.

Carrol McGlaun, the Family Learning Center’s director, said although it just looks like kids are playing when they’re in a sandbox, they really are developing social and cognitive skills.

Parents will be able to check out the reading materials and read with their children to develop their English language skills and provide family bonding time.

Opened in 2007, the center serves up to 54 children ages 6 weeks to 5 years in its early childhood program, which occupies four classrooms.

TJC staff runs that program and it provides a place for TJC students who are studying for careers in early childhood education to observe and learn.

The Literacy Council of Tyler provides adult education classes in three classrooms, serving almost 50 students during the day and about 150 at night, according to information provided by TJC.

The center is housed in TISD’s Douglas Elementary School Campus Annex.

Kyle Penney, East Texas Communities Foundation president, said the Retail Merchants Association charitable fund provides about $100,000 a year to area organizations through grants.