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Fort Myers Eagle Scout designs, builds outdoor learning station for Child Care of Southwest Florida

Students attending the Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center in Fort Myers now have a new water table that will enhance children’s learning and discovery.

For his Eagle Scout Service Project, 18-year-old Kyle Walker, a May graduate of FSW Collegiate High School and member of Troop 119 in Fort Myers, wanted to create something useful and imaginative. The water table helps children develop cognitive, social-emotional and motor skills while keeping cool.

“Most of the kids I know just did benches for their Service Project,” said Walker, who will major in civil engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. “I didn’t want to just build a bench, though.”

After consulting scout leaders, Walker set out to design and construct a Sensory Development Water Table, which features five individually controlled compartments that can adapt to a variety of hands-on, developmentally appropriate learning activities. He raised more than $1,800 from businesses and community members, then spent nearly 100 manpower hours building the Water Table.

A connection with Child Care of Southwest Florida, which operates the Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center, helped bring the project to fruition.

Child Care of Southwest Florida advocates learning through play. While children play with the water table materials, they’ll also be learning about volume, water flow, basic physics and, most importantly, cooperative play, according to Children’s Center Director Tammy Aronson.

“It’s not always about learning through books,” Walker said. “Sometimes you learn in different ways.”

Volunteers and business partners for Walker’s Eagle Scout project include Shoreline Lumber, Wolverine Brass, Blue Giraffe Restaurant, NIM Research Corp., the Rogers family, Caloosa Site Development, Walker Plumbing, Brian Bauer, SanCap Home Management, Gretchen Smith, the Ardesia family, Tropical Tradesman General Contracting, the Stein family, Kelly Tyrell, the Radecki family, the Brummer family, Robert Andrews and the Spence family.


About Child Care of Southwest Florida

Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. a nonprofit early childhood education provider with six learning centers in Lee and Hendry counties that serve more than 500 children from 6 weeks to 8 years old. Each center is accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders and is recognized as a Gold Seal Quality Care Program through the Florida Department of Children and Families. Five CCSWFL locations have five-star ratings through the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. CCSWFL follows the nationally recognized, research-based Creative Curriculum, with a goal of creating safe, nurturing learning environments that develop young minds, support families, strengthen the community and secure the future. Through its participation in the USDA’s Child Food Care Program, each child has access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks. Sponsor, volunteer and donation opportunities are available. For more information, please visit ccswfl.org.

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