The Salvation Army builds nursery with help from grant

A recent renovation has led to the creation of a new nursery at The Salvation Army Temple in Fort Dodge.

The nursery, which is expected to be dedicated next month, was created with the help of a $5,000 grant The Salvation Army received from its divisional headquarters, according to Capt. Carol Cook.

The process of converting the two rooms into a nursery was an extensive one.

“It used to be a computer lab,” Cook said. “But we decided to remodel it and turn it into a nursery.”

A new window was installed and volunteers donated toys and furniture for the children to play with.

Volunteer Margi Brownfield also painted animals on the wall to make the room more inviting.

“We’re thinking it’s a

real jungle out there, and the young people seem to have enthusiasm for that,” Cook said. “We have kid-friendly animals on the wall. They’re all smiling.”

Cook said they were able to find leopard-print carpeting to cover the floor.

Right now the room is used for children during the Sunday church service, but during the week Cook said it will open up to the children of women served by The Salvation Army.

However, children will only be allowed to use the nursery if mothers take part in special programs offered by The Salvation Army.

“I want to teach the moms menu planning with a budget in mind and how to use frozen meals,” Cook said. “While they’re here, their young children can stay in the nursery.”

That way, Cook said the mothers will be able to develop better skills they can use at home.

She added that the nursery will only accept between 10 to 12 children.

“We’re limited on who we can enroll,” Cook said. “We’re thinking of having one-month memberships and rotating who can be in the nursery every month. We can’t get 30 kids in there, but we can have between 10 and 12 at a time.”

While in the nursery, Cook said the children will be taught the alphabet, how to count, tying their shoes and other basic skills they’ll need before they enter Head Start programming.