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September 22, 2016 at 6:00 am

IN THE PRESS

CCA open first Natural Playscape in Stop Six Neighborhood

Fort Worth city leaders and non-profit groups are ramping up efforts to revitalize the Stop Six neighborhood of the city.

The area is seeing everything from new surveillance cameras to new playgrounds.

NBC 5 first told you about plans for a series of “playscapes” that Child Care Associates had planned for low income Fort Worth neighborhoods. The first was put into use this week in Stop Six at Southside Child Development Center.

“We took what was a standard little bit rundown playground for infants and toddlers and really transformed it into a natural playscape,” said Kara Waddell, Child Care Associates CEO.

Watching the children enjoy the new playground, it would be easy to forget why early childhood development specialists think this project is so important — especially in this area.

Child Care Associates recently released their study about the difficulties facing infants and toddlers in Tarrant County.

Findings in Tarrant County include:

• More than 14,000 children under the age of six lack health care coverage
• One in four children live with food insecurity
• More than 7,400 children under the age of six are homeless
• 50,000 women who are of childbearing age are living below the poverty line

The playscapes will be in economically struggling communities.

“We serve a lot of lower income children here in the Stop Six neighborhood and we call it a high potential neighborhood and we see a lot of potential in the children we are working with each day,” Waddell said.

The playscape has many features that include a stage to promote imagination and movement. A painting station and several stations are designed to enhance encounters with nature.

“It’s a powerful thing to have them outside,” Waddell added. “It’s really special to see. These families have the same experiences as everyone outside and enjoying nature.”

The Southside Child Development Center playscape is the first on many. The next is set for another lower income community in North Fort Worth.

By Larry Collins

SHARING IS CARING

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