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Oakridge receives $50,000 grant for playground improvements


Oakridge Neighborhood has been awarded a $50,000 grant for improvements to the playground at its Oak Academy Early Learning and Preschool Program. According to a news release, the grant comes from the Polk County Early Childhood Building Success Grant program. Oak Academy provides child care and early education to an ethnically and culturally diverse group of 120 infants and toddlers, from ages 6 weeks to pre-kindergarten The center is nationally accredited and is a QRS Level 5 state licensed facility. “Our Oak Academy curriculum incorporates outdoor play and daily physical activity as an important cognitive development tool,” said Bethany Davis, vice president for early childhood. “A safe playground is the centerpiece of much of that activity.” Oakridge Neighborhood provides services to children, adults and families to help them succeed and become financially independent. It is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Des Moines, with over 72% immigrants and refugees from more than 21 countries that speak more than 22 languages.

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