• 64°

Partners in learning raises $3.2 million for new facility

SALISBURY — With $3.2 million raised of its $8 million goal, nonprofit child care organization Partners in Learning is ahead of the curve on fundraising for its new center.

PIL announced its plans to build a new facility last year after Gerry and Brenda Wood donated a piece of land off Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. The new center will replace the nonprofit’s Catawba College location while expanding its classroom space and programs.

Of the funding, $2 million is a gift from the family of Partners in Learning board chair Celia Jarrett. Jarrett’s mother, Dr. Shirley Ritchie, founded the organization. 

Jarrett said the organization has expanded its services for 25 years to meet the needs of families and children.

“Once again the need in our community is great, and once again Partners in Learning is moving forward to make sure our families and children have the support they need to thrive,” Jarrett said in a statement.

The fundraising total also includes the value of the land, some private donations and a commitment from Taylor Clay Inc. to donate the brick for the new facilities.

PIL Executive Director Norma Honeycutt said the community has been generous with the project.

“There has never been a more important time to expand our services than right now,” Honeycutt said. “We are not only building bricks and mortar, but transforming lives in our community.”

PIL Development Director Amy Vestal said the nonprofit is planning to meet 60% of its campaign goal by October and then host a kickoff event to fundraise the remainder of the project cost by May of 2023.

Vestal said the organization is working behind the scenes, putting together marketing information, speaking to board members and community members to drum up support for the addition.

“COVID hit Rowan County Hard in terms of child care,” Vestal said. “Many centers shut down and families are not able to go back into the workforce.”

Vestal said PIL currently has a wait list of more than 360 children, and that number is increasing. The organization is also advocating for additional COVID-19 relief funding from the state for child care centers.

The new center would provide more than extra classrooms to meet the demand; it would also provide space for a staff psychologist to practice therapy techniques important for children with autism.

Applied behavioral analysis is a method that can make a big difference in the lives of kids. Vestal said it can make the difference in getting a child to communicate vocally, socialize and function in an inclusive classroom after starting elementary school. Vestal said not getting early intervention for kids who need it means trying to play catch up for two years.

The need for the therapy is greater than the supply. Families have to travel to Charlotte or the Triad to get the therapy for their kids, and there are yearlong wait lists to start therapy. Part of PIL’s mission is serving all students even if they have special needs or come from low-income families.

Comments

Health

Salisbury City Council will return to virtual meetings, require face masks in city buildings

Landis

Landis goes big with two helicopters for National Night Out

Local

Spencer and East Spencer join forces for National Night Out

Local

City Council approves Grants Landing development on Rowan Mill Road

Education

In lighter-than-usual year, RSS nutrition staff serve more than 100,000 summer meals

Nation/World

CDC issues new eviction ban for most of US through Oct. 3

Nation/World

Pushback challenges vaccination requirements at US colleges

News

More North Carolinians getting COVID shot amid Delta variant

Crime

Appeals court tosses China Grove man’s murder conviction, citing lack of evidence

Crime

Two men charged with robbing, killing Gold Hill woman

David Freeze

Day 8 for Freeze brings trooper, tunnel and more climbing

Education

Back to School: A message from RSS Superintendent Tony Watlington

Education

Salisbury’s colleges take different approaches to COVID-19 vaccinations

Coronavirus

Back to school: COVID-19 in RSS, K-12 schools

Local

Rowan County commissioners approve agreement for millions in opioid settlement funding

High School

Fall sports: Official practice begins

News

Nancy Stanback remembered for compassion, philanthropy

News

David Freeze: Finally a day that met expectations

Education

Back to School: Getting to know RSS schools

Education

Back to school: From public to charter, Faith Elementary won’t miss a beat

News

Threat of rising evictions looms in North Carolina

Nation/World

US hits 70% vaccination rate — a month late, amid a surge

Education

Turbyfill remembered for years working to help students

Local

Blotter: Shots fired when motorcycle club tries to kick member out