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Little Patriots Get a Heroes Welcome at New Learning Center

By Brian Ells

Little Patriots Learning Center and Veteran's Inc. staff, students, donors and parents gathered in September to celebrate the opening of the new center in Worcester, Mass. Quaboing and DCU for Kids, a charitable foundation for children and families, were asked to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo Credit: Rich Suitum, Exsel Advertising

When Veterans Inc. broke ground on a new playground at Little Patriots Learning Center (LPLC) in September, they weren't sure where they were going to get the funding necessary to finish the flooring in the play area. Founded in 1992, Veterans Inc. is a Worcester, Mass.-based non-profit serving veterans, active military personnel and their families. The Little Patriots Early Learning Center began because lack of childcare is often a contributing factor to job loss and homelessness among veterans. The mission of Little Patriots Early Learning Center is to provide a safe, nurturing, and developmentally appropriate learning environment that supports preschooler's social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development.

The playground was filled with over 4,000 pounds of Quaboing rubber mulch. The rubber material is a non-tire rubber, free of steel and cord, non-marking and latex free. A 6 to 8 ft. retaining wall is installed to prevent excessive kick-out and to maintain required depth. Next, a geo-textile fabric is laid on the surface area to help prevent weed growth.

Knowing that many playground injuries result from falls, the center was looking for a quality, impact-absorbing material for their playground. Lisa Quintiliani Bousbouras, executive director for Little Patriots Early Learning Center, approached Quabaug Corporation about pricing and hoped for a discount. Recognizing the positive impact the center has on families of veterans, the company offered to donate 4,000 pounds of Quaboing, a rubber surfacing created and manufactured by Quahaug for the center's playground.

Bousbouras was extremely grateful. ''We were so excited when they chose to donate the rubber mulch,'' said Bousbouras. ''They went above and beyond just a simple donation of materials, giving tips about the structure of the playground as well. Our space was extremely uninviting; the addition of the rubber mulch makes it look like a picture perfect playground that is safe for infants and preschoolers!''

Lisa Bousbouras (left), executive director for Little Patriots Early Learning Center presented Sally Geldard-Hewes (right), new opportunities specialist at Quabaug Corporation, with a certificate of appreciation. Photo Credit: Rich Suitum, Exsel Advertising

QuaBoing provided a cushioned surface for the LPLC playground. Unlike most rubber surfacing, it's not made from tire rubber but from a rubber material that doesn't contain metal or other harmful debris.

''Veterans Inc. does so much for their community by supporting homeless vets and their family members and now they have added a wonderful new learning center for children. We were more than happy to make a donation that gives so much back!'' said Sally Geldard Hewes, new opportunities specialist for Quabaug.

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November 18, 2019, 10:32 am PDT

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