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KidZone seeking additional funding

Staff reports

The Family Action Coalition of Truckee is making a final push for funding to open the doors of the new KidZone on time this fall.

Truckee’s new KidZone is opening its doors in September.

The KidZone is the circus tent-like structure going up between Tahoe-Truckee High School and Sierra Mountain Middle School. Long in the making, it will be a place where local children can play and learn in the rain, snow or shine.

Housed in this unique dome will be the Sierra Nevada Children’s Museum, a new Family Resource Center and a giant play structure.

The KidZone will be an exciting addition to the community, offering children enrichment opportunities and gross motor skill development, something greatly needed during the long winter months.

Additionally, the KidZone will offer parents an opportunity to connect with resources and new friends. The KidZone will be an asset for the whole community, serving hundreds of families and children every year.

Although construction is well underway, the final funding is still needed to complete the Kidzone Project. In particular, organizers are seeking support for the final interior construction of the KidZone facility. Already many community members and businesses have donated money, volunteer hours and materials to bring this project to life.

The work, however, is not over. To complete construction, $48,000 is still needed. This money is needed specifically to fund playground equipment. Donors of $500 will be honored with a permanent brick and recognition at the grand opening event.

The idea for the KidZone was hatched two years ago when social service agencies and parents began brainstorming projects that might qualify for funding through tobacco tax dollars available to California counties under Prop. 10.

The statewide ballot measure levied a 50 cent tax on every pack of cigarettes and earmarked those funds for projects supporting early childhood development.

The KidZone proposal represented an unprecedented collaboration between social service providers, public agencies, nonprofits and the community at large.

Tobacco tax revenue accounted for $189,000, the lion’s share of the $300,000 raised to date. It was the seed money that made the project possible.

In addition, grass roots fund-raising efforts such as bake sales, concessions, garage sales, silent auctions and the Truckee 500 have raised almost $50,000 in direct contributions from the community.

(The Truckee 500 is a giving program that recognizes every family or individual donor of $500 with an engraved brick in the new building.)

Other funding sources include:

— Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District

— Truckee Donner Public Utilities District

— Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation

— Local Rotary and Lions clubs

For more information on helping the KidZone, please call Museum Director Barbara Wilkinson at (530) 587-KIDS.


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