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Willard Community Center



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Ameritas Awards Willard with $5,000 for Preschool Shade Structure

Willard Community Center has received approval from Ameritas for the $5,000 grant request to help purchase a shade structure for the preschool play area.



Our focus is on equipping our preschool playground area with appropriate shade structures. We originally had two trees in the playground area that provided the much-needed shade. Both ash trees were deemed unsafe because of dead and dropping branches along with the threat of emerald ash borers. They were both removed, along with their stumps, in February 2022. Shade is an essential part of play environments. First, they help protect children from the sun's harmful UV rays. It's common knowledge that it's necessary to help minimize exposure to UV rays to help prevent skin cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just a few severe sunburns can increase your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Secondly, these coverings also keep play equipment cool.   Playgrounds in the sun's heat can reach incredibly high temperatures during warm seasons. A child's skin can be burned immediately upon contact with the equipment. Our goal is to provide an all-around safe area for the children to play, and shade structures are a necessary part. 


Thank you, Ameritas, for supporting our preschool program!