The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 11, 2014

Carthage early childhood center gains additional donor support

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Another set of names will be added to the new early childhood center to serve students in the Carthage School District.

District officials announced Monday that the playground at the new center will be named the Hough Elliff Pound Playground in honor of Helen-Louise (Hough) Elliff.

Naming rights for the playground were purchased for $15,000 by Mark and Vicki Elliff, Mike and Lee Elliff Pound, and Anne Elliff.

“Mark, Lee and I believe this is the perfect way to honor our mother and demonstrate how much we all care about the children of Carthage,” said Anne Elliff, who is administrative assistant for the Adult Education and Literacy Program at the north campus of the Carthage Technical Center.

The three siblings are graduates of Carthage High School. Mark Elliff is president and economic development director for the Carthage Chamber of Commerce. Lee Elliff Pound is alumni director at Missouri Southern State University and now serves as president of the Carthage Board of Education.

School officials announced last week that portions of the new building would be named for Ruth I. Kolpin Rubison and W.B. Wright, after donations of $100,000 each were made by Rubison and by Felix Wright, who asked that the naming honor his grandson. Both donors are Carthage residents who for years have been involved in charitable causes.

The new building, to be constructed on district-owned property on East Fairview Avenue, will house the early childhood education, early childhood special education and Parents as Teachers programs. It will consolidate early childhood programs that have been located in various parts of the district, including Fairview Christian Church, after the district ran out of available space.

The Carthage School Board last month awarded a contract for the building to R.E. Smith Construction, at a cost $3,090,921. The board also approved a resolution outlining plans to finance initial construction costs through a lease-purchase arrangement.

The board acknowledged a grant of $350,000 from the Steadley Foundation that will go toward the project, which will include a tornado shelter.

The early childhood special education programs serve children ages 3 to 5 with special needs. Parents as Teachers offers home visits, group meetings, developmental screenings and resources for more than 1,000 Carthage families with children of pre-kindergarten ages.

Costs for the early childhood special education portion of the building will be covered by federal funds, and the district is seeking $750,000 in other funds to add space for the remainder of the programs.

Ceremonies

GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONIES for the new building are set for 5 p.m. Thursday at the building site on East Fairview Avenue, which previously was used by the school district for marching band practices.

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