Cowley College’s early childhood development program is the recipient of a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant totaling $6,786.

USDA grant signing

Photo taken by Rama Peroo/Cowley College

Janet Davidson and Cowley College President Dennis Rittle sign a USDA grant application Sept. 22.

The program plans to use the grant funds to start a Mother’s Day Out program at the college.

Janet Davidson, director of child care and development and early childhood education at Cowley College, filed a pre-application with USDA Rural Development for financial assistance to acquire equipment for the program.

A meeting for the proposed application was held Sept. 22 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. The public was invited to attend.

During the meeting, Cowley College President Dennis Rittle signed papers listing the college’s intent to meet grant conditions.

The USDA grant supplies 35 percent of the total budget for the Mother’s Day Out program, which is planned to be offered two Saturdays a month beginning in November.

The program will offer child care for those aged 6 weeks to 8 years old, while parents are encouraged to shop local businesses in advance of Christmas.

Davidson said the USDA grant will allow the Early Childhood Education program to purchase educational carpets, a puppet center, curriculum sets and advanced technology equipment, as well as to teach proper nutrition. She said she is looking forward to working with USDA and the college to serve the students and community of Arkansas City better.

“We hope to enhance creativity and cognitive abilities in 6-month-olds to 8-year-olds,” Davidson said.

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.