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November 7, 2014

Clarke Park Ribbon Cutting with Clarke Pennsylvania and Community Clothes Charity

November 7, 2014—The beautiful, warm morning of October 14 was an ideal day to be out of doors and playing, making it the perfect backdrop for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony that officially opened the new “Clarke Park” for Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech.

Committee members attending the Clarke Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, representing Community Clothes Charity (left to right) Mellen Vogt, Anne F. Hamilton, Janice N. Wetherill, Elisabeth Kuensell, and Linda Farnum stand at the entrance of Clarke Park with a plaque of appreciation from Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech for the generous funding to design and build the new play area.

Clarke teaches children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and talk, and has two area locations in Bryn Mawr and in Philadelphia on the campus of LaSalle University. Clarke Park, at the Philadelphia location, is an inclusive, fully accessible play area that extends learning opportunities beyond the classroom and allows students the freedom to play in a safe environment. Play is a vital part of learning, especially for Clarke students who are preparing to enter mainstream classrooms by Kindergarten. Clarke Park will be shared by both Clarke preschool students as well CORA Early Years students. CORA Early Years, a preschool for children with typical hearing from the surrounding neighborhood, is Clarke’s collaborative partner. The play equipment was designed to replicate trees, leaves, lily pads, and butterflies and, along with a dedicated garden for the green-thumbed preschoolers, creates a natural wooded atmosphere in the otherwise urban environment.

This enhancement to the education of Clarke’s preschool students who are deaf or hard of hearing was made possible by the extremely generous support of the Community Clothes Charity (CCC). Each year fashion savvy shoppers from Philadelphia’s Main Line and many areas much farther afield, eagerly await the Community Clothes Charity sale of donated designer fashions. As beneficiaries of the Community Clothes Charity 2013 Sale, Clarke received generous funding from the CCC to realize their vision of Clarke Park. Clarke leadership, staff, and students were honored to have representatives from the CCC with them for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Committee Co-Chair Anne F. Hamilton had the honor of cutting the ribbon alongside a few student helpers. Before inviting the CCC representatives to join the children in their play, Clarke Chief Development Officer, Julie Cowan presented the ladies with a plaque of appreciation and thanked the CCC representatives for “fashioning” such a lovely park for the children.

For additional information please contact:
Kate Hagarty
Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech
455 S. Roberts Road
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
(o) 610-525-9600
(c) 413-207-5478