Donation helps early childhood development program in Holyoke

Balise Auto Group donated $10,000 for a new play space in Holyoke Square One.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Children from higher risk families are learning healthy life habits at a young age. The Square One center in Holyoke provides early learning for children living at-or-below the poverty line.

Last year, Balise Auto donated $10,000 to help give these kids the tools they need to succeed. Square One used some of that money to build an indoor play space. Bill Peffer, the president of Balise Motor Sales said “We have a long standing teamwork relationship with Square One, and we are really excited to see our donation go to good use.”

This room will help children practice and improve their gross motor skills. It will also allow 73 toddlers and preschoolers to get the exercise they need without leaving the building.

Before this play space was constructed, Square One was transporting kids to the YMCA in Holyoke. “We won’t need to do that anymore, because of this room,” Square One President Joan Kagan told 22News. “It’s more convenient for us than trying to transport preschoolers and toddlers.”

Most of the children who attend this facility come from families that are facing significant  challenges including poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity.