First Chance Takes a Chance

1 decade 1 year 2 months ago Friday, August 17 2007 Aug 17, 2007 Friday, August 17, 2007 11:31:57 AM CDT August 17, 2007 in News
Last week, Columbia's local Lend and Learn program moved from Parkade Plaza to a spot on Wilkes Boulevard. That happens to be across the street from an adult entertainment store, and many people were upset.

Today, the First Chance for Children Organization, parent organization of the Lend and Learn store, lost a lot of funding, largely because of the new location.

First Chance for Children finds ways to help kids learn before they go to school. But after talks with the Boone Co. Community Partnership, the two groups couldn't see eye to eye. Now First Chance will not be able to use $400,000 in state funding.

"Our board met with their board on Monday and I think what was clear to us at that point was it was becoming hard to align our organization's priorities with their organizations priorities," said Candie Iveson, interim executive director at First Chance.

The Lend and Learn store is right about to open off of Wilkes and Fay, but right across the street from an adult entertainment store.

Differing opinions on whether the Lend and Learn store should be there is just one of the reasons why First Chance is refusing funding from Community Partnership. First Chance leaders are talking about raising money without the assistance of groups like the Community Partnership, which hands out state money to non-profits.

"I hope, and it's certainly the belief of the board as reflected in their vote today, um, that we will be able to do a better job at delivering services without that funding," said Iveson.

First Chance normally raises about $1.6 million a year, and has received funding through the partnership for the last nine years. The group plans to work directly with the state and other groups to keep its programs alive.

The Boone Co. Community Partnership had no comment on the issue.

The new Lend and Learn location opens Tuesday next week.

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