Groups host benefit concert to raise money for early childhood development center

Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 6:17 PM CDT
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WOOD RIVER, Neb. (KSNB) - People are rockin' and rollin' in Wood River to support a new childhood development center coming to the area.

For the last two years, people have been working to bring the Stick Creek Kids Child Development Center to life in Wood River. Efforts continued Sunday with a drive-in concert hosted by Stick Creek Kids and Celebrate Wood River. Each car paid $20 to listen and dance to Rave On! with Billy McGuigan.

Elizabeth Troyer-Miller, board chair for Stick Creek Kids, said the main goal is to meet the urgent need of providing a safe educational space for young kids while parents are at work.

“Most families have two parents working or any available parent working," Troyer-Miller said. "Childcare issues - that’s a statewide problem. We are really focused on not just creating that space, but supporting our community’s in-home providers.”

Troyer-Miller said there aren’t enough providers to meet the need for working families in Wood River.

Wood River Rural School District offers a four-year-old preschool and after school program for kids. Troyer-Miller said they want Stick Creek Kids to elevate opportunities for families in the area. She said a major focus will be a three-year-old preschool, which will complement Wood River Elementary’s program.

“Everything is really about what can advance learning for these kids," Troyer-Miller said. "It’s not learning like sitting at a table and, ‘here’s a pencil: Do the work.’ But the way we ask questions, the way we engage kids both in intentional play and experiential play.”

Thanks to a partnership with Rowe Sanctuary and UNL Extension, Stick Creek Kids will also offer outdoor interactive learning areas at the center.

Money raised during the concert will go toward the center’s $2 million capital campaign to put the daycare in Wood River, which will provide services for children ages six-weeks to 11 years old. Troyer-Miller said the facility will be able to have up to 80 kids at one time.

The facility will also provide supportive services to families to assist in children’s educational development while at home.

Stick Creek Kids needs $67,000 to reach its fundraising goal. Donations can be made on Stick Creek Kid’s website or in-person at Heritage Bank in Wood River. People can follow their Facebook page for updates on construction and more fundraising opportunities.

Renovations are already underway at the future facility, which is taking over the old Good Samaritan Society. The center is expected to be completed in February 2021.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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