By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
Manna Middleton, from the Bee Hive Child Care Centre in Picture Butte, recently paid a visit to Town of Picture Butte council to discuss the possibility of the town helping to put in gates at the town’s ball diamonds.
The Sunny South News printed an article highlighting the daycare’s plea in partnering with the town, Middleton said, and noted the Bee Hive Child Care Centre should be considered a public good.
Middleton noted the daycare asked to put gates up between the ball diamonds for the children at the daycare to utilize as an outdoor play space that would be deemed safe by the daycare’s licensing authorities.
“Although the town denied this request they were allowing the daycare to pay for the public gates within the stipulation of working within the administration’s specifications,” she said.
Middleton said after the article was released she was flooded with e-mails from local business owners sending messages of hope the town decide to help the daycare.
“The article was shared numerous times on social media and the public sent wishes of appreciation towards the early learning program available in Picture Butte. Individuals approached — suggesting fundraising ideas and members from the Knights and Elks offered gestures of support,” Middleton said.
“In addition, our agricultural community has been more then generous having received offers by farm operators to pay for our needed gates. The Bee Hive families and educators felt a tremendous amount of support from Picture Butte and surrounding area.”
“Each valuing how critically important it is to provide accessible, quality early learning programming in small towns knowing the unique advantage we have in Picture Butte in comparison to other rural/urban areas across the province,” she explained.
Middleton said the daycare has humbly accepted the offer from the Elks to utilize the enclosed space behind their hall.
“Discussed was the importance of insuring our youngest citizens are made a priority and it is the responsibility of all to provide safe and stimulating outdoor experiences for children,” she said.
“Realizing happy, loved, and supported children receive the foundation needed to fight against adversities in life and become our trusted leaders of tomorrow,” she said.
Middleton shared a website link and said today we get to give our children a place to play, explore, and be curious.
“It takes a village,” she added.
Moving forward, Middleton said, her hope is for each resident, entrepreneur, social group, and vested stakeholder to grow in dialogue with policy-makers and town representatives.
“Opening our minds to one another’s ideas that promote, not the best interest of self, but community,” she said.
“Strengthening relationships even beyond the borders of the town but encompassing all that support and utilize our services and who choose to call Picture Butte home,” Middleton noted.