The VPK room at Palm Coast Community Child Center (PC4) is slowly growing into a town with the help of area businesses and volunteers.
“When we opened the preschool, we had all kinds of dreams and visions – we’re not short on those,” said Mary Benvenuto, co-director of the preschool. “Part of the dream is to have classrooms for the VPK program become an area that (students) are familiar with in terms of the community that they see all around them — centers that reflect different businesses in the community. Each one of those centers are opportunities to learn.”
Some of the centers already in the school include a library and the Community Animal Clinic, which is sponsored by Dr. Donald Walker and Dr. Debra Hyatt. The newest center is a clubhouse sponsored by Auburn Homes and Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches Real Estate. The clubhouse has come to life thanks to a small, but determined, group in the community. Danielle DeSousa, who works as an agent at Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches Real Estate, and is also a member of Palm Coast Community Church, knew about the school’s dream, as her son goes to the preschool. She approached her boss, owner Catherine Evans, who reached about to Brad Thomas, of Auburn Homes. It all snowballed from there.
Thomas reached out to subcontractors and got materials donated from Empire Roofing and Integrity Drywall and Construction. Peter Krupitsch then jumped in. His wife, Kathleen, works at the real estate company, and he is a retired detective and a member of the Blue Knights XXII and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 171. Krupitsch got members of the groups to volunteer their time to help build the clubhouse.
“Between all the volunteers coming together, this was a great project to work on for PC3 and the child center,” Thomas said.
For Evans, it was about seeing a need in the community and filling it.
“I believe in giving back,” she said. “This is an exact example of why I chose to live here, have my business here, raise my children here. We want to continue for our community to be a great place for our children, so, these are the things you need to do. We want to see it grow.”
Eventually, Benvenuto would like to add roads and street signs, cars and parking spots.
“How much fun would learning be then,” she said.