Three Easter Seals schools closing statewide
Posted November 22, 2013
Fayetteville, N.C. — Some special-needs children in North Carolina soon will have to find new preschools to attend.
Three of the state’s nine preschools operated by Easter Seals and United Cerebral Palsy are closing in the next month because of a lack of funding.
Jeff Smith, a spokesman for the nonprofit organization, said the schools, which serve children with and without disabilities, need more volume to be viable. Food Lion is ending its fundraising partnership with Easter Seals next year, but officials said that’s not the reason for the closings.
"It's very difficult," he said. "We're in the business of providing support and services. When you have to make a decision to exit or discontinue a service, that impacts someone's life."
The Cape Fear Children’s Center is one of the schools slated for closure on Dec. 20. Half of the 36 students have disabilities.
Domonick Weaver said his 4-year-old daughter Jazmine, who has autism, said the center has been critical for her development.
“One of the things we deal with on a regular basis is Jazmine’s speech issues,” Weaver said. “Both of our children go to this school. It’s almost like we’re seeing a close member of the family leave the area.”
There is another Easter Seals school in Fayetteville where some children can go. Still, the loss hurts.
“I was upset,” Weaver said. “Not just myself, but my fiancée was horribly upset.”