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Dear RINLA Members, I am writing on behalf of the Mariposa Center to state our official request for the help of RINLA. The Mariposa Center is a RI not for profit organization dedicated to creating innovative learning environments for children and their families. The Mariposa Center has a history of providing services supportive of the healthy growth and development of Providence’s youngest children. Most recently, we are proud to be one of the seven programs awarded the RIDE Pre-K Demonstration Project grant from 2009-2011, and most recently have been awarded funding as one of Rhode Islands first five state funded Pre-K classrooms. The Mariposa Center, in collaboration with Highlander Charter School has implemented a high quality preschool classroom program for a total of 36 children and families in Providence over the past two years, supporting the children’s learning and development in partnership with their families and our local community. The Mariposa Center faculty is highly qualified and dedicated to creating opportunities for children to learn through play in a beautiful, engaging learning environment. Our early care and education approach produces positive learning outcomes. The children in our classrooms have consistently demonstrated growth and learning in literacy and language, math, social-emotional, and physical development. Children feel confident in their abilities and ready for Kindergarten. Building on our solid experience and knowledge of how to provide high quality Pre-K, the Mariposa Center is excited to be continuing our Pre-K programming for Providence children and families in August – starting a new school year in a new location! The Mariposa Center/Highlander Charter School Pre-K classroom is now located at the Wanskuck Boys and Girls Club at 550 Branch Ave, Providence, RI as of July 1, 2011. The Mariposa Center will create a high quality preschool classroom for 18 four year olds at this location. The program will be a full day program for a minimum of 6 hours per day and 180 days per year. Additionally we will be running before and after school care for families whose child care needs stretch beyond our Pre-K hours – serving children and their families from 8 AM – 6 PM each day. We are looking forward to getting to know the Wanskuck community and for them to get to know us! However, our new program space does not come equipped with many things that we need to provide a high quality program for Providence children and families. Mariposa believes that being outdoors and experiencing the natural habitat is an essential

human need. The program is designed so that every day there is time for outside activities such as gardening and free play. Outdoor activities such as walking and climbing support healthy physical growth, motor coordination, and concentration. When children are exposed to nature they have a stronger sense of themselves as members of the world community. According to studies, green space fosters creative play, more cooperative play between boys and girls, and improves access to positive adult interaction. For the young child, nature experiences lead to a sense of wonder and curiosity. The Mariposa Center board members, faculty, administrative staff, and volunteers act on these beliefs by committing time, energy and resources to beautifying our indoor and outdoor learning spaces. Unfortunately our new outdoor space needs quite a bit of work to bring them up to Mariposa standards. The building we are to be located in is the Wanskuck Boys and Girls Club. The Mariposa Center is happy to partner with the Boys and Girls Club in service to the Providence community. The outdoor space has lots of potential but has yet to be developed. The following paragraphs outline our facility needs and therefore, our full request: Our new playground has many beautiful features – large pine trees and shade, room to run and pretend in. However, the play equipment is older, we are without a sandbox, and in order to meet our program standards we need to cover the playground area with 9 inches of non CCA Treated Wood Mulch. We would appreciate help with installing a sandbox (approximately 6 feet by 7 feet), providing the sand to play in and enough mulch to give us the 9 inch covering that we are required to have before we open. Our playground is approximately 54 feet wide by 63 feet long. We also would appreciate a donation of loose parts for the children to imagine with in their play – blocks of wood for building or making ramps, tubing for moving water, cardboard boxes to make houses with… anything that stirs the imagination of the child. I thank you graciously for your time in reading our request and hope that with your help, we can make our dreams a reality and continue to serve our children, families and communities to the very best of our ability. Sincerely, Meghan McDermott Mariposa Head Teacher 550 Branch Ave Providence RI 02904 401-575-8868

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Call for Action for RINLA members