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Woodland Public Schools’ childcare program receives $50K grant

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The Columbian
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Woodland Public Schools' Woodland Child Care program received a $50,000 grant from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.
Woodland Public Schools' Woodland Child Care program received a $50,000 grant from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. (Photo contributed by Woodland Public Schools) Photo Gallery

WOODLAND — The Cowlitz Indian Tribe awarded a $50,000 grant to Woodland Child Care, the program provided by Woodland Public Schools for before- and after-school care for students at both elementary schools, with a variation of services at Yale Elementary School. In total, the program serves more than 120 students, according to Melissa “Missy” Sorensen, director of Woodland Child Care. Childcare costs have increased over time, and the COVID-19 pandemic compounded the issue. Woodland Child Care reopened for full-day care in June 2020 and supported virtual learning for students. It hired extra staff to maintain small group sizes and “manage the additional health protocols presented by the pandemic, which was made even more costly due to lower attendance rates resulting in less revenue generation,” Sorensen said. The Cowlitz Indian Tribe has awarded the childcare program two grants over the past two years. “These substantial grants provide funds to hire staff, maintain our playground facilities, replace failing equipment (most recently a refrigerator), as well as purchase personal protective equipment, craft supplies, and toys,” Sorensen said. Woodland families interested in learning more or enrolling in Woodland Child Care can contact Sorensen at 360-607-7926 or at sorensem@woodlandschools.org.

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