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Civitan gives to BEST playground

The Demopolis Civitan Club has donated $10,000 to a special-needs playground on the campus of Westside Elementary School. The playground serves children participating in the Beginning Early Skills Today (BEST) program.

The BEST classroom, taught by Loretta Moore, is an inclusive developmental program for children age 3 to 5 with and without disabilities. BEST is designed to address the needs of developmentally delayed pre-school children.

Services are provided at no charge to children qualifying as having special needs, although typically developing children pay tuition to attend the program.

The newly constructed playground is located near the BEST classroom at Westside Elementary. It is fenced in and has basic equipment that is age- and ability-appropriate for all students in the program. The equipment and fencing was purchased during the last quarter of 2008 with grant monies awarded by the Demopolis City Schools Foundation.

The playground is in need of covering to keep the equipment from getting overheated and solid-surface impact-absorbing flooring. The Civitan Club estimates the cost for materials and labor to be $26,000. Civitan member Kelley Smith said that area businesses were in the process of donating money.

To make a donation, contact Demopolis Civitan Club president Ray Saliba at 216-5389.