TOPEKA (KSNT) – At Highland Park High School, the TDC Learning Center has received a $25,000 grant to help keep it running. The center is one of the few places that provides free child care for teen parents in Topeka. The parents go to school to finish getting their high school diplomas while the center takes care of their children.
“It’d be a whole lot more difficult, I wouldn’t, I probably wouldn’t have no one to watch him because I’m not able to work right now,” teen mom Shelby Mauk said.
The center runs on grants and the subsidy DCF gives the parents each month so the new $25,000 grant is a critical win. The money will help pay for services for these teens which include parenting education classes, a support group and even talking to them about college.
“I start talking to them about FASFA and I start talking to them about Pell grants because typically if you’re a teen mom you qualify for quite a few pell grants,” TDC Learning Center Director Michelle Kmiec said.
Not only does the center help provide the education for the mothers but also the early childhood development of the children. Things like learning to walk and talk and good nutrition.
“We work with the parents and develop education plans and say, ok this is where your child needs some help,” Kmiec said.
This is one of two such centers in Topeka and with the grant it will be able to keep its doors open a little longer. The center received the grant through the Kansas Health Foundation.