ASUU gives gift to child care

Late last year, student government raised money for child-care services on campus, and Monday morning it was finally donated.

Denine Therrien, director of the child-care center since it opened two and a half years ago, was there to receive the check from the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

“It was absolutely wonderful,” Therrien said.

The center will use the money to enhance its curriculum with activities designed to improve literacy and creativity, according to Therrien.

This semester the center, funded in part by ASUU, a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education and parent fees, has 73 children enrolled. Each of them belongs to a student parent at the U.

There are more who want to take advantage of the subsidized costs, which can be as low as $1 per hour and not higher than $6 per hour.

“There’s a high demand for it, and it’s more so for the morning hours…but we try to help as many people as we possibly can,” Therrien said.

Even so, there were nearly 40 families on the waiting list this semester, and the average number of families waiting every semester is between 20 and 30, according to Therrien.

These facts helped motivate Sarah Crookston, at that time a board director for ASUU, to hold a fund-raising dinner for the organization.

The dinner took place Nov. 18 at the Alumni House, and guests paid $25 a plate to eat.

Crookston’s dinner actually brought in $2,000, but expenses cut the net gain to $1,000, she said.

According to Crookston, the money wasn’t handed over until now because the project “kind of fell out of [her] hands” with her resignation to help out the Grassroots Party’s campaign last semester.

The $1,000 is not the only contribution ASUU made to the center this year.

According to Anthony White, ASUU vice president, the U’s student government donated two computers, a TV and a VCR and created 1,000 new brochures for students and faculty interested in using child care.

He also said changes were made, making it easier for single parents and parents with good grades or low income to be accepted into the program.

In addition, White helped establish “Parents Night Out,” a program that gives parents free child care one Saturday night per month, so parents can have some alone time.

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