HARTFORD — The state’s Bond Commission announced on Friday, July 26, its approval of $100,000 in grants for upgrades to school security at the Children’s Adventure Center (CAC).
Children’s Adventure Center Board of Directors Chair Mae Schmidle said she applied for the grant a few months ago, and this is the second grant received by the center since it was first built.
“We applied for the grant in the springtime,” said Ms Schmidle. “We found out that the state was going to make money available to local preschools for situations like ours, but it wasn’t a major building grant.”
Ms Schmidle said the grant will go toward making security improvements at the center, and added that the state hopes Children’s Adventure Center will create a model security environment for other preschools in the state to emulate.
“We’re a little agency and for us to get this important grant is really, really exciting,” said Ms Schmidle.
Ms Schmidle also said she was the one who applied for the original grant to build the Children’s Adventure Center.
The whole board, Ms Schmidle said, is excited about the grant.
“This is a great day for more than the Children’s Adventure Center,” said State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-106). “This grant is also a strong statement about Connecticut’s and the Office of Early Childhood’s commitment to our state’s most valuable natural resource, our children.”
“During this year’s Sandy Hook Task Force process,” Mr Bolinsky continued, “I was very vocal about our responsibility to include more than just K–12 public schools in new school safety initiatives and about the need to invest in preschools and private schools to ensure that all of our precious children are able to develop and blossom in nurturing, safe environments that also provide critical peace of mind to parents, many of whom I’m sure will as grateful for the coming security enhancements as the CAC’s chairman, Mae Schmidle, who worked so hard on the grant application.”
Newtown State Representative DebraLee Hovey (R-112) also said she is pleased the grant is being provided to upgrade security features at CAC.
“Making sure our children can continue to learn in a safe school environment is of paramount importance and this money will go a long way to ensuring that,” Ms Hovey said.
“Helping youngsters learn and grow in a secure environment is vitally important to our community, and I’m pleased this funding will help make our kids safer,” State Representative Dan Carter (R-2) said. “The hardworking staff and students at the Children’s Adventure Center are very deserving of these great improvements.”
The Office of Early Childhood grants-in-aid are for various capital improvements and facility repairs at state-funded early childhood facilities, including CAC.
CAC will use the money to install a comprehensive school alarm, silent alarm buttons, and to further secure doors and windows, according to the Department of Economic Community Development.
The Children’s Adventure Center was established in Newtown in 1969 by a group of concerned community leaders as a nonprofit organization to provide early childhood education for local families. The center, at 14 Riverside Road in Sandy Hook, is governed by a volunteer board of directors elected annually. It is accredited by the National Association for the Education for Young Children (NAEYC), a national organization whose goal is to raise the quality of preschool education through a stringent accreditation process.