This article was written by Sarah Fearing for WAVY.com.
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — After operating for 16 years in the Park Place neighborhood in Norfolk, the Park Place Child Life Center will be closing its doors.
Moving forward, PPCLC — a center that gave arts-based enrichment programs for children living in Park Place — will merge its assets with ForKids and will fund art education programming throughout Norfolk , Chesapeake and Suffolk.
In a news release, ForKids said PPCLC’s “considerable facility restraints” factored into the decision.
“ForKids looks forward to expanding the work of PPCLC to at-risk children across Hampton Roads,” said Thaler McCormick, ForKids CEO. “This is the perfect union of both organizations’ goals.”
ForKids is a nonprofit that has given services to area families living through homelessness for more than 30 years. With the merger, ForKids will incorporate the center’s art programming into its existing education program for at-risk children in southeastern Virginia.
PPCLC’s former program director will serve as the new art education advocate at ForKids and lead the new program, which will be part of ForKids’ weekday after-school programs in Norfolk, Chesapeake and Suffolk.
The program will also operate on Saturdays.
“PPCLC has been instrumental in bringing arts programming and enrichment to more than 600 children of Park Place for the past sixteen years. It has fed, enriched and given new hope for many of the families it touched. Small children were the focus, but several of the children became a part of the leadership and have gone on to college,” said David Klemt, PPCLC board president.
The merger will also help boost new programming at the ForKids Center for Children and Families in South Norfolk, which is under construction. The 60,000-square-foot facility will have five classrooms with two “makerspaces.”