MILWAUKEE, WI – The Greater Milwaukee Foundation awarded a grant of $54,795 to St. Francis Children’s
Center (SFCC) to create a new Outdoor Classroom. The Classroom will combine an experience in nature
that piques children’s curiosities along with constructive play that supports SFCC’s STEAM (science,
technology, engineering, arts & math) curriculum.

“Making enhancements to our outdoor spaces is part of St. Francis Children’s Center’s strategic plan,”
explained Executive Director Mara Dučkens. “We know that children learn through hands-on play and
exploration, and this new outdoor classroom will ignite their imaginations. We are so grateful to the
Greater Milwaukee Foundation for helping to make this vision a reality.”

Funding from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will be used to purchase and complete the installation of
durable, weatherproof equipment from Community Playthings, including wooden blocks, a wheelbarrow
and sand/water tables, along with outdoor musical instruments from Freenotes Harmony Park to include a
xylophone, drums and chimes. In addition, the Outdoor Classroom will feature a butterfly garden with a
reading nook for children with sensory issues who seek a quiet place. The Outdoor Classroom will be
staffed by experts in the field of early childhood education and special needs education.

Construction of the enhanced outdoor space will begin in late summer with the majority of the work to be
completed in Fall 2018. A grand opening event will be announced upon completion of the entire Outdoor
Classroom project in spring 2019.

St. Francis Children’s Center’s mission is to serve and educate children with special needs in inclusive
environments enabling them to reach their greatest potential. Since 1968, SFCC has served as a trusted
and respected resource in the field of special education in southeastern Wisconsin, touching the lives of
more than 32,000 children and their families throughout the Milwaukee area

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