"It’s open to anyone that wants to come," said Diana Hurley, a member of the center’s board of directors. "Besides being a fundraiser, it’s just a fun community event that helps us share our experience at the day center with other people and let them know that we’re here for them for their child care needs."
Kingsport Child Development Center is funded with a combination of child care tuition, United Way support, community donations and grant funding. Hurley said all of the money raised at the bingo event will go to classroom teachers to purchase needed furniture, equipment and supplies.
"Basically, we just reach out to the community in that way for their support and help," Hurley said, "and, in return, we give them a good place to bring their children for child care."
The bingo fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, April 18, at The Press Room, which is located at 300 Clinchfield Street, the downtown Food City. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are $35 and will be sold until April 15. They can be purchased by calling 423-392-4675 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ticket price includes dinner, door prize entries, and 15 rounds of prize-winning bingo. Opportunities to win Disney and Dollywood tickets will also be offered.
The Kingsport Childhood Development Center has operated since World War II, when it was founded as a child care center to serve African-American women who went to work in a local munitions factory, said Executive Director Cindy Housewright.
The center was integrated and incorporated in the 1960s, and has been housed in several different locations over the years. Since 2002, it has been at 118 Clay Street.
Housewright said the center, a United Way agency, is the only child care center she knows of in the Greater Kingsport area that offers partial scholarships and a sliding fee scale.
"We have some on state certificate... those that pay the maximum, and the majority falls right in the middle," she said. "A lot of single parents."
Kingsport Child Development Center uses the Creative Curriculum as well as the Tennessee Early Learning Standards, which are used by public school systems. Housewright said every lead teacher must have a child development associates’ degree or higher, and every child is given individual assessments and an individual education plan.
"It makes a difference in children’s lives. The whole family, really," Housewright said. "We try to give them a strong foundation with early learning."
She said the center is also a benefit to parents who can go to work or school knowing their children are safe, well cared-for and learning - and this benefits the whole community.
The sliding fee ranges from $73 to $130 per child, and one pre-kindergarten spot is currently available. Other classrooms have a waiting list. The center can be reached at 423-392-4675.