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Medina church celebrates upgraded playground for child care program

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 June 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – The P.Raising Kids Child Care Center celebrated the re-opening of its playground with several improvements to the area at the Medina United Methodist Church. Julianne McGrath, director of the P.Raising Kids, stands at left with children and staff involved in the program during a ribbon-cutting on Friday.

The playground includes new equipment for children.

MEDINA – New equipment. A smoother sidewalk. Safety improvements. The new playground next to the Medina United Methodist Church opened on Friday and immediately was embraced by children.

The church runs the P.Raising Child Care Center, serving about 40 kids on Mondays through Fridays.

Their playground has been off limits because of old equipment and glass shards that were discovered on the ground. The church replaced the dirt and base for the playground, installed new equipment, expanded the fenced-in area, and changed the sidewalk so it no longer has a step. That makes the site handicapped accessible.

“Before there were a lot of issues,” said Tony Hipes, the church pastor. “It was old and falling apart.”

The improvements cost about $3,000. The Medina Area Association of Churches chipped in $1,500. The MAAC wants to support the P.Raising program, which was started about four years ago.

“They are serving community children,” said Sue Metzo, the MAAC president and a member of the Presbyterian Church. “They are doing something that is very important in this community. Anytime there are churches doing things in the community, we try to help in any way that we can.”

The United Methodist Church also is working to renovate the former Apple Grove Inn down the road on West Center Street.

“We’re in full construction mode,” Hipes said.

He hopes the congregation can move into the building in late summer or early fall. After the move to the Apple Grove, the P.Raising program will continue to be run out of the existing church at 222 West Center St.

Nathan Brabon, 4, of Medina finds the smooth sidewalk good for riding a tricycle.