Jun 10, 2011
A Section-8 Housing complex in Moore will now have the opportunity to provide their younger residents a Saturday daycare program complete with nutritious meals, educational activities, field trips, and a bible study.
The City of Moore receives a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) each year to benefit low-moderate income residents. The City passes through a portion of those funds to non-profits. The Nottingham Resident’s Council is a non-profit organization that works to help the residents of the Nottingham Apartments and the surrounding neighborhood, and they are receiving a grant in the amount of $8,000 to help fund a Saturday daycare program. Approximately 20-30 kids living in the Nottingham Square Apartment Complex as well as children from the surrounding neighborhoods will participate in the Saturday program.
Nottingham Square Apartment Complex is a Section-8 Housing complex that houses approximately 326 residents. Section 8 Housing is a Federal housing program, which provides housing assistance to low-income renters and homeowners. Assistance comes in a variety of forms including rental subsidies.
When Laura Lawson, President of Nottingham’s Resident Council, got word that kids were going door-to-door asking for food, she decided to make and distribute sack lunches.
“You would think that with a lot of parents being at home, they’re watching their kids, but that’s not generally the case. A lot of the kids are just growing up unattended. So this will give them something structured. It’s just a warm, safe place for them,” said Ledbetter.
When the sack lunch program began to show success, Jackie Ledbetter, Social Services Coordinator for Nottingham Square Apartments and Lawson began focusing on nutrition. Two or three times a week hot, nutritional meals are provided to the children living in the Nottingham Square Apartments as well as the surrounding neighborhood. Each day, approximately 16 kids take advantage of the weekly lunch program and activities.
“We try to give them fresh fruit everyday. A lot of the children were not accustomed to eating fruit. We literally were able to introduce them to fruit,” said Ledbetter.
The new Saturday program will extend what goes on during the week with the addition of extra activities. The Saturday daycare program will be held at Living Faith Church every Saturday afternoon.
It is oftentimes difficult for the kids to leave the apartment complex because transportation is an issue for many of Nottingham’s residents. The grant money will allow the children to take educational field trips to museums, parks, and the zoo.
“We are going to try to open up Oklahoma City to them this summer,” said Ledbetter.
Because there is a lack of extracurricular opportunities at the apartment complex, a portion of the grant money will be used to build the children a playground. Playground construction should be completed by early July.