For more than half a century, Sunrise Children’s Services (formerly known as United Cerebral Palsy of Tampa Bay, Inc.) has provided high-quality inclusive educational programming for children with and without developmental delays. Thanks to a substantial grant award of $540,065 by Hillsborough County, we recently moved into a building that was previously a Boys & Girls Club of America located at 1114 W. Sligh Ave. This newly renovated 3,600 square ft. building is in a prime location right across from Lowry Park Zoo. We have also added cubicles so that those in need of therapy services can receive them on-site.
A New Beginning
Due to the generosity of Hillsborough County, the interior of our new Children’s Center was renovated utilizing a design concept by ROJO Architecture, a Tampa-based architectural firm, with the intention of sparking the creative imagination of program attendees. The layout is now more open and inviting, in keeping with our inclusive approach to early educational services.
Along with the interior work, funding was also used to cover necessities such as plumbing, mechanical, and electrical work to create an environment focused on both comfort and accessibility. Additionally, their support of much-needed exterior work enabled us to turn what was once an outdated and aging facility into a vibrant, inviting center eager to serve the community around it.
Addressing an Urgent Need
Studies continue to demonstrate the need to instill in children a desire to learn and interact with the world around them from infancy. Doing so not only results in educational success in the short-term, but general success and better health later on in life as well!
Unfortunately, such services aren’t always readily available, especially not for children with developmental delays or those from low-income households. Thanks to Hillsborough County’s investment, we are better equipped to address the educational needs of children and their parents, regardless of their circumstances. In a touching letter submitted to us, one of our devoted parents highlighted how critical access to these services has been, not just for their son, but for their family as a whole. She writes:
“The time my son has been attending Sunrise Children’s Services has made a world of difference. Sunrise has played a major role in preparing him for kindergarten this upcoming school year. He has become more social with other children and talkative at home as he loves to tell us all about what he does in school each day. The thing that we are most excited about is that he has gained the confidence of trying new and different foods with the help of his teachers at Sunrise. We are confident that his kindergarten experience will be successful, and we thank his experience at Sunrise Children’s Services for this!”
It is stories such as this that highlight just how vital Hillsborough County’s support for our mission has been. On behalf of Sunrise staff and especially on behalf of the children and their families attending our new center, thank you Hillsborough County for investing in our children’s future!