Known for its brick-and-mortar building projects, Habitat for Humanity of Bowling Green-Warren County is now contributing to building programming at The Foundry Christian Community Center.
At a ceremony Monday at The Foundry on West 11th Avenue, Habitat Executive Director Rod Goodman announced that his nonprofit is donating a half-acre tract adjacent to The Foundry, which operates a preschool serving 65 youngsters with the potential to serve many more.
“This is a major blessing for The Foundry,” said Linda Johnson, the nonprofit’s executive director. “Our hope is that we’ll be able to expand our preschool. We’re working with architects now to see how we can do that. We could more than double our capacity.”
The property being donated is behind a former Bowling Green Fire Department building that Habitat uses for storage. Goodman said it was a good fit to donate the land to The Foundry.
“It helps us and it helps them,” Goodman said. “We have a piece of property that’s really not of any use to us. We’d like to give it to them so they can use it for their programming.”
Nevil Speer, chairman of The Foundry’s board of directors, said the donation was a great example of how local nonprofit organizations work together.
“This represents the best of the sense of community and working together,” Speer said. “We’re here to serve the community, all in the name of Christ.”
Johnson said the extra land will allow The Foundry’s preschool program to meet a growing need in the west end of the city. She said The Foundry already has a waiting list for its 3- and 4-year-old programs.
“This is the densest and poorest neighborhood in Bowling Green,” Johnson said. “About 40 percent of our students speak a foreign language. Many are refugees from Somalia and other countries. These children come to us not ready to go to kindergarten, and we try to get them ready.”
The Foundry preschool appears to be getting results. According to The Foundry website, 95 percent of the program’s preschool graduates tested kindergarten ready in 2017 and 93 percent in 2018. The preschool program has earned a 5-star rating – the highest possible – from the Kentucky All-Stars, a quality rating service administered by the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood.
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