Northwest NEWS

January 18, 1999

Front Page

Children's Services of Sno-Valley opens Duvall center

   Children's Services of Sno-Valley, the North Bend-based non-profit organization providing a comprehensive program of educational, therapeutic, and support services for young children and their families to the Snoqualmie Valley, opened a center in Duvall last week.

   CSSV, established by parents in 1967, has leased space on Duvall's main street that it will use to offer a program of services that mirrors what it is currently providing in North Bend. That program includes parenting education and family support, early childhood education, early intervention therapies for young children with disabilities, enrichment activities, and various specialized services.

   According to CSSV Executive Director Joan Sharp, the Duvall center has been in the planning stages for over a year.

   "With the tremendous population growth in Duvall, especially from families with young children, our board has for some time been concerned that, even with the number of home-based services provided, Children's Services of Sno-Valley was not adequately meeting the need," Sharp said.

   Chaired by Duvall residents Val Roney and Hilarie Cash, a special CSSV task force began last spring to lay plans for the expansion. Encouraged by Duvall community members, the agency began seeking suitable space during the summer. Originally, the group thought it might be able to operate CSSV programs from space in the library, churches, and other agencies.

   However, it soon found that appropriate space was not available. The diverse program offerings and the somewhat specialized requirements imposed by serving young children and families made the space search especially challenging, Sharp noted.

   The main street space at SR-203 and Virginia Street to be used by CSSV previously housed various retail operations, most recently an antique store. A large space will be used for infant-toddler classes, an "indoor playground" program, art and music classes, a motor-language therapy group, family activities and childcare for the parenting classes, support groups, and other adult-focused activities offered by the agency.

   Children's Services of Sno-Valley will also be collaborating with other agencies to broaden the scope of services, Sharp said. Among those partners are the Eastside Literacy Council, with which it will offer math and reading workshops and a "culture club" for Hispanic families, the King County Library System, and Evergreen Community Health Care.

   Start-up funding for CSSV Duvall is being provided by the King County Child and Family Commission, United Way, the Glaser Foundation, and individual donors, Sharp said.

   "Having an agency of the caliber of Children's Services of Sno-Valley available to the families of Duvall is something that's long overdue," said Roney. "CSSV has an excellent reputation. With its well established, research-based programs aimed at strengthening family life, enhancing children's development, and building community, Children's Services of Sno-Valley will definitely contribute to an improvement in the quality of life for everyone in Duvall."

   CSSV plans an official grand opening celebration in the early spring. In the meantime, the agency is actively seeking volunteers to help with the move, program development, special events, and other tasks, Sharp said.

   The agency is also in need of donations of children's play equipment and a fax, copier, and file cabinets to get it fully functional. Messages may be left on the CSSV Duvall line, 788-7924, or call 888-2777.

   Sharp noted that opening the Duvall center represents fulfillment of a personal goal, as well as one held by the organization she directs. "I live in Carnation," she explained. "I'm one of those lucky Valley residents who, for the past six years I've been with Children's Services of Sno-Valley, has been able to work in and on behalf of my community, which I think of as the whole Snoqualmie Valley and not just the one part of it I live in."

   "Helping Children's Services of Sno-Valley finally get through that "invisible wall" between the Upper and Lower Valley that's somewhere around the Falls feels like a big step towards making that sense of community more real for more of us," she said. "Children's Services of Sno-Valley, a Valley-grown enterprise that is doing such important work on behalf of children and families, is a local treasure we all share."