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Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award 1993

Clay County Child Care Center, Inc.

1993 Winner
Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award

Clay County Child Care Center started operating a day care/preschool in 1972. In 1991, the Center applied for a grant to operate a single-county Head Start program. A Head Start program would permit a broader range of services to more low income children. The grant was awarded but contained a surprise--the Center was given Head Start responsibility for three counties--Clay, Cloud, and Washington. Head Start survey reviews found the Center's long-time, church facility inadequate for the growing program. Within months of the first Head Start award, loss of the Head Start program was possible unless an acceptable facility could be found.

A building was located in Clay Center which could serve the program's needs but extensive renovation was necessary. The cost of renovation was estimated to be more than $200,000. Head Start could supply about one-half of the funding. A UMHMF grant for $81,744 provided all but $25,000 of the remaining need. That $25,000 came from the community in the form of gifts of money, materials, and labor.

Today, the renovated facility offers almost 8100 square feet of attractive and useable child care space. At that Center, the program serves 51 children in day care and 60 in Head Start; an additional 45 Head Start children are served in Washington and Cloud counties. Beginning in September, 1994, a new Head Start site will be opened in Republic County.

As a result of the vision and efforts of the staff and board of the Center, children will have a Head Start experience and services in four rural Kansas counties, for the foreseeable future. The children in the traditional day care program in Clay Center also have an improved facility for their activities. The program has attained the goals and objectives for the renovation project. Volunteers contributed significantly to the project, both in actual construction and organization of the effort. The community provided significant support for the effort as it has throughout the life of the Center. Good management and financial practices have been in place to fully utilize all available resources.

This project illustrates how individuals, churches, and other organizations within a community can work together with government and private funders to serve families and children. Clay County Child Care Center has demonstrated that the spirit of community cooperation and a belief in the need to invest in the future of children are still important Kansas values.

Clay County Child Care Center representatives: Jack Anderson, President; William Lewis, Vice-President; Carol Cheney, Treasurer; Linda Gilmore, President of the parents' group; Marsha Habluetzel, Director of the Center.

Awarded March 9, 1994

Learn more about the Janet Sevier Gilbreath award