May 13, 2015 Edition

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A "Slide-by-Slide Deluxe Playcenter" is one of the items purchased for the Lawrence County Cooperative School in Portia with grant money from the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Council of Northeast Arkansas. UCP Council representatives (back, from left): Bobby Puryear and Chairman Gary Wells visit with Tammy Davis, LCCS early childhood special education teacher, and some of the students, including (front): Eli Haynes, Danny Goforth, Adrian Phillips, John Jacobs, Brandon Douglas and Alec Brogdon.

UCP grant provides $10,573
in equipment for LCCS

John Bland

A grant from United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Council of Northeast Arkansas is making a big difference to preschool students enrolled at the Lawrence County Cooperative School in Portia. Playground and educational equipment totaling $10,573 was purchased with the grant.

Gary Wells, chairman, and Bobby Puryear, both longtime members of the UCP Council of Northeast Arkansas, visited the school on Monday and explained that funds for the grant came from the annual UCP Telethon.

In January of each year, on a Sunday that is usually a week prior to the Super Bowl, the UCP of Northeast Arkansas holds the telethon. The telethon is televised on KAIT8 and raises approximately $100,000 each year.

"All the money that we raise stays right here in Northeast Arkansas," said Wells.

Lisa Williams, executive director of the LCCS, said, "I appreciate what UCP always does for us... The kids and staff were so appreciative of what we got this year. I personally want to thank everyone who contributes the UCP Telethon."

Clay Sloan of Walnut Ridge has been a VIP fundraiser for Lawrence County in recent years. Some of the others from Lawrence County who have been involved with UCP and the telethon have included Alex Latham, Keith Brand, Philip Clark Leroy E. Clark, as well as Glenna Mosier, a former director at the school.

The UCP Council of Northeast Arkansas serves 14 counties and typically receives requests for grants, and then the volunteer council votes on how to distribute the funds. The region served by the council contains seven or eight programs and facilities similar to the Lawrence County Cooperative School.

The UCP Council tries to focus on equipment needs. Puryear explained that some needs are not funded by Medicaid and fall through the cracks.

"We really appreciate all that they do for us," said Tammy Davis, LCCS early childhood special education teacher.

The LCCS has received other grants in the past, including matching funds to help the school purchase a van and funds for a storage building.

The $10,573 UCP grant has helped the Lawrence County Cooperative School purchase a number of pieces of equipment.

Among the big-ticket items purchased is a Slide-by-Slide Deluxe Playcenter and a Skyward Summit "mountain" climbing structure, both for the outdoor playground.

Other equipment items purchased include: Winter Viking Premium Trikes, Extra-Deep Sand & Water Table, Around the Town Pack, Storage Tree, Block Play Homes, Block Play Store Doors, Science Discover Chest, Store & Display Teaching Chart and a Store & Explore Science Cart.

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