Oakland Family Services receives grant to refurbish preschool classroom

 Hal Zaima, co-founder of Eagles for Children, presents Kris Kasperski, director of Early Childhood Services at Oakland Family Services, with funding for the Children’s Learning Center in Pontiac.

Hal Zaima, co-founder of Eagles for Children, presents Kris Kasperski, director of Early Childhood Services at Oakland Family Services, with funding for the Children’s Learning Center in Pontiac.

Eagles for Children demonstrated its magic of giving Thursday when it awarded Oakland Family Services a $5,000 grant for the Children’s Learning Center in Pontiac.

The money will be used to replace furniture in a 3-year-old classroom with new, developmentally appropriate furnishings and classroom materials. Preschoolers will soon walk into their classroom to find new tables and chairs, a play kitchen, cubbies and other items.

“We are so thankful for the funding,” said Kris Kasperski, director of Early Childhood Services. “The population we serve is typically low income and as a result Oakland Family Services keeps its tuition rates significantly lower than other centers in the community. Because of this, we haven’t been able to refurbish our classroom in more than seven years.”

Oakland Family Services received the grant during the 2018 Eagles for Children Grant Awards Ceremony held at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township. Attendance at the event has grown from 40 people seven years ago to 185 people this year.

 Oakland Hills Country Club awarded 28 organizations with grants.

Oakland Hills Country Club awarded 28 organizations with grants.

“The support we have in this room will help people have a better understanding of the Eagles and what we do,” Don Kegley, co-founder of Eagles for Children told the crowd.

This year, Eagles for Children set a new record by raising $415,020 to grant to local charities that help disadvantaged children. Members of participating golf clubs pledge $2 for every eagle scored on their course during the season with the proceeds going to organizations serving children in the members’ own communities.

Grants were awarded for a large variety of programs that range from summer camps, to helping homeless women care for their children, to providing a holiday party for physically and mentally impaired children.

“We look for projects where we can see what the impact is in the community year after year,” said Beth Meade, executive director of Eagles for Children. “Each of our clubs decide what they are passionate about and how they want to distribute their money.”

Oakland Family Services was one of 28 organizations awarded a grant through the Oakland Hills Country Club, which raised $129,784.

This isn’t the first time Eagles for Children has helped Oakland Family Services. The group also awarded a grant in November 2017 to refurbish the toddler room at the Children’s Learning Center. Check out the story and photos!