Thanks to a community effort, over 200 young children are playing happily on a new playground at Old Gallinas Children’s Center. “So many people came together to make this happen, it’s such a celebration and achievement,” exclaims Monique Liebhard, Vice President of Children and Family Services. Monique and the agency worked with families and community to secure the funding needed to bring the playground to life. Notes Monique, “It was years in the making through a labor of love and tremendous support by many dedicated families. It will be enjoyed for years to come—and the happiness on children’s faces today is so beautiful!”
Old Gallinas Children’s Center is the largest early learning site operated by Community Action Marin. Dating back to the 1970s, its early childhood educators helped ensure that generations of families and children learned and succeeded into kindergarten as part of a close-knit community. Children who once thrived here are now parents, and even grandparents, of children currently benefiting from the foundation of high-quality early childhood education that’s a hallmark of the agency’s program.
In recent years, the Old Gallinas community came together to identify ways of improving the site while keeping treasured memories of childhood relevant for many parents. A group of parent leaders identified overall site needs, and focus groups with children, parents, and staff discussed possible immediate improvements. Unanimously, across all groups, the playground emerged as the number one priority with a focus on giving preschool children better play structures and outdoor activities.
Outdoor play is critical for a child’s growth and healthy development. Research shows that play promotes cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being, offering the necessary conditions for children to thrive and learn. Through the efforts of families, community, and partners, the new playground debuted in January 2021 to everyone’s delight.
Thank you to everyone who made this new playground possible. Now, the current and future generations of children will be creating their own fond memories that will last them a lifetime!