Five community groups will get $1.9 million from the John Rex Endowment to help transform public places around Wake County into locations that promote the mental health of children from birth to age 8.
The four-year project, announced Thursday, will include Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy, the Lucy Daniels Center, Marbles Kids Museum, N.C. State College of Design’s Natural Learning Initiative and The Salvation Army of Wake County’s Project CATCH.
“Everything from lighting to the shapes of paths and personal interactions comes into play and can make all the difference to support the developing minds of young children,” NCSU psychology professor Mary Haskett said in a written statement.
The five groups will use their expertise in creative play, mental health, family needs, child development, policy and design to improve specific children’s places in Wake County as demonstration sites for community learning. Examples of sites to be considered include childcare centers emergency shelters and public parks.
Nine sites will be selected based on where the highest populations of vulnerable children spend their time.