THE PLAYERS Championship has awarded Episcopal Children’s Services a grant to support the organization’s Outdoor Play and Learning Project. This grant of $25,000 will fund the outdoor project at one of the organization’s Early Head Start centers in Northwest Jacksonville.
The center is located in the heart of one of the most challenging areas of Northwest Jacksonville, where more than 40% of the population earns less than the federal poverty level and the crime rate is among the highest in the city. Despite these disadvantages, children and families deserve the high-quality early education offered by Episcopal Children’s Services so they can enter school ready to learn and succeed.
Outdoor play is just as important as indoor learning and activities, as both are an integral part of early learning and development. This donation allows the center to have an infant/toddler play area specifically designed to encourage the physical, emotional, creative and mental development of infants and toddlers, as well as integrating art, music and nature experiences that build gross and fine motor skills.
Because the children who attend Episcopal Children’s Services often live in unsafe neighborhoods, many only experience the joy of outdoor play when they are at the Early Head Start center.
“We are delighted to partner with THE PLAYERS, an organization that has been supportive of our mission for many years,” said Connie Stophel, chief executive officer of Episcopal Children’s Services. “This generous grant and investment in our community will no doubt improve the lives of the vulnerable young children and families we work so hard to serve. We could not be more thankful.”
“THE PLAYERS is so honored to support the development of this play area,” said Jared Rice, executive director of THE PLAYERS. “Everything we do as a championship goes back to using our platform to strengthen and improve lives, especially those in underserved areas, particularly our youth. When we heard about this need to give more kids in our community the chance to experience the joy and peace that come from free play, it was obvious we needed to get on board to support this important project. We have a special place in our heart for supporting youth and giving them the tools and resources to succeed, and we can’t wait to see this area come to life.”
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