Heartland Child Development
  • Heartland Child Development Video

    Preschool is about more than numbers, shapes, and letters.

    One Pay it Forward recipient knows children learn how to get along and enter kindergarten with better skills but Heartland Child Development in Council Bluffs had a problem: too many kids and not enough room.

    Heartland Child Development
    Heartland Child Development provides care for three to five-year-olds during the school year and three-year-olds to 6th graders in summer.

    They plan to move into a new, larger facility on May 27, 2008.

    They used the grant money to buy more items for their silent auction on May 9 to help pay for kitchen, sprinkler system, and playground.

    They used their $1,000 grant to help change that. From coloring to crashing toy cars, the fun that children have at Heartland Child Development is all a part of learning

    Director of Administration, Merilee Mescher, says, "We are so happy we can offer kids problem-solving skills, love of learning, and to prepare them for what school will be like."

    But the Council Bluffs preschool and summer camp can't accept everyone due to space limitations.

    The center is trading 37 stairs over two floors for a facility that is all on one level. This will allow more children with disabilities to attend and make it easier for parents and grandparents who just have a tough time getting around."

    The new location offers more space, a full kitchen with a stove, instead of the crock pot and microwave used now. There is room for an outdoor play area and there is a sprinkler system.

    Teachers at Heartland Child Development used their Pay it Forward money for raffle items -- everything from a Wii to vacation packages.

    At a silent auction, the initial $1,000 turned into more than $6,000 -- a boost that thrills parents like Kim Smith

    Kim says, "I'm looking forward to no stairs. Carrying up two babies has really been a workout. And having more space, an outdoor play area, it's going to be great for the kids."

    Merilee Mescher says, "Nothing is worse than having to tell a parent, 'no we can't accommodate your family, we are sorry.' Nothing is better than to say 'yes, we can take your child.'"

    With more space, more children can get a head start.

    Heartland Child Development still has a lot of work ahead to raise $60,000 to $70,000 for renovations.

    You can help by donating. Here is the wish list:

  • Portable kitchen island
  • Playground surfacing
  • Shelving/bookcases
  • Portable classroom partition
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