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Incredible Years Preschool receives donation from Pilot Club
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Incredible Years Preschool children, and members of the Pilot Club and Sunflower Early Education Center staff display new resources at the preschool. A Pilot Club donation paid for the trikes, ride-in vehicles and magnetic letter boards. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

                 Incredible Years Preschool now has new supplies for the classroom and playground, thanks to a gift from the local Pilot Club.

            The $500 donation paid for 14 magnetic boards, along with the letters that adhere to those boards, and a few trikes and ride-in vehicles.

            Sunflower Diversified Services owns and operates the preschool, which serves children ages 2-and-a-half to 5. It is located at 1312 Patton.

            Director Shari Schneider noted the magnetic items can be “used in our writing center or in small groups. They help children learn letter names, sounds, printing, word formation and spelling. They are used differently, but effectively, in each age group.

            “Generous donations enhance our quality programs and help us keep tuition rates low,” she added. “We are grateful to the Pilot Club and others who understand the importance of early education.”

            Heather Quillin, Sunflower’s children’s services coordinator, also expressed her appreciation.

            “We are so grateful for the Pilot Club’s continued support,” Quillin said. “Its long-standing relationship has allowed us to continue to provide educational toys and tools to enhance our children’s development.”

            Rhonda Knudson, Pilot Club member, said the organization chose Incredible Years because “one of our goals is brain education awareness. We know Sunflower’s funding has been cut and it needs more resources to achieve the mission of teaching. It seemed such a good fit.”

            The Pilot Club sells geraniums each year to fund its projects; it has supported Sunflower EEC for the past few years.

            “We always try to support programs such as Incredible Years and Sunflower’s Early Education Center,” Knudson said. “We also have visited schools and preschools with Pilot’s award-winning Brain Minders program.”

            This program teaches children about being safe, and illustrates ways to prevent brain and head injuries.

            The club, which has 38 local members, meets the first and third Tuesday at noon at the Classic Inn. Brain-related disorders became the focus in 1990 to promote awareness and improve the lives of those affected.

            “Our members reach tens of thousands of people each year,” Knudson said. “We are especially excited about our new project, which is an Autism Workshop for Central Kansas in 2018.”

            Sunflower, a non-profit agency, serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 51styear.