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Welcome, Neighbor!

When last we wrote about City Park Elementary School, we mourned its closing. We were sad to lose our neighbors. We were sad that a huge building was sitting empty across the street from our entrance. And we soon came to deeply miss the sounds of kids playing on the playground. Earlier this summer, we heard a rumor that Vogel Alcove, a non-profit that provides childcare for homeless children under the age of 5, was leasing the building from Dallas ISD. Once the rumor was confirmed, I reached out to Karen Hughes, their Executive Director, to welcome them to the neighborhood and find out more about their plans.

City Park Elementary will be undergoing extensive renovations, as the existing classrooms are made more toddler-friendly or turned into administrative offices. In addition, with this new space, they’ll be able to serve more children. Longer term plans include an after-school program for school-age kids. But what does this mean for DHV?

During my first visit with Karen, I told her to see the Village as an extension of their campus. The kids are welcome to come over any time just to walk through the grounds and see the animals. We’ve also offered to do our Barnyard Buddies program just for them. So, in the short term, we’re thrilled that we can serve more young people. After all, everyone here is a sucker for cute kids. Longer term, we now have a great non-profit partner in the neighborhood. I’m not sure what the future holds, but there are several possibilities for us to work together.

Last week, Gary, Lisa and I went back inside the City Park Elementary building. We were in the same room that had held the closing ceremony for the school, but this time we were celebrating a ground breaking. After the requisite speeches, a group of preschoolers trooped out with toy tools to knock down a wall made of cardboard bricks. They were even wearing hard hats! Definitely the cutest ground breaking ever.

The aftermath of "breaking ground"

The aftermath of “breaking ground”

Work should begin on the building any day now, and they hope to move in late December or early January. Frankly, we can’t wait for the playground and the building to be filled with the sounds of children laughing and playing and learning again. And we’re very much looking forward to working with our new friends at Vogel Alcove.

Gary signs the welcome banner.

Gary signs the welcome banner.

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