ALTON - With the help of the Riverbend Growth Association, some gracious volunteers and donors, the Alton YWCA was pleased to introduce the public to their new Children’s Learning Center to the public this Tuesday, Nov. 17, in a special ribbon cutting ceremony. 

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Previously the facility’s first floor day room, the new Children’s Learning Center will provide a plethora of opportunities for personal and educational growth during after school activities for kids of all ages.

“It feels really good to be an active part of the community and to be able to share this space,” YWCA Director Andrea Lamer said. “We have a really unique heritage as an organization and a pretty interesting and dynamic youth programming to offer.” 

Alton Mayor Brant Walker was on hand to congratulate Lamer, the volunteers, and the RBGA for their hard work in transforming this great facility into one that will be used by children for years to come. 

Since July, YWCA board members Britta Haggard and Barb Morrissey, community volunteers, artists, business leaders and and even the children of the after school program put in a valiant effort in transforming the room, as well as the new Jane and Bob Bruker Children’s Garden.

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“Before the renovation, the brightest part of this room were the children and the staff who engaged with them,” Lamer said. “They renovated from the inside out. We have new ceilings, brand new paint on all of the walls and the folks from Eunice Smith Home has helped us out tremendously for restoring the floors."

A gorgeous mural, courtesy of Samantha Purcell-Blyth, Laura Blair, and KayLee Melton, lines the Children’s Learning Center’s entrance near the garden, as well as in the new center itself.

Children will have the opportunity to learn through a number of new activity modules based on the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) curriculum embraced by schools around the area.

“We kind of let the kids be our guides on this project,” Lamer said. “The kids are always engaging in new projects that they designed themselves using information that they gained from school. Recently, I enjoyed seeing them build rockets based on their own idea of aerodynamics.”

CLICK HERE OR LOOK BELOW FOR A VIDEO OF THE RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY: 

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