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Little Light House holds ceremony for new center serving special needs children

Several community members gather for a ribbon cutting at the new Little Light House Development Center, in this picture taken September 7, 2016. (KTUL)

TULSA, Okla. - A new and improved Little Light House will now be able to better serve more special needs children in Tulsa. The Christian development center for special needs children held a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony, Wednesday, in honor of its new building at 35th and Yale.

The development center has many features, including eight large classrooms, four observatories to train parents and college students, a sensory stimulation room, assistive technology room, therapy gym and administrative offices.

The facility is focused on providing services for special needs children before entering kindergarten and first grade. Executive directors Jean Winfrey said the new building allows them to double their current student population to 90.

“The Tulsa community is who and what makes this all happen. You’d be amazed at what we get in donations. It might be a truck load of paper towels, but that’s how we operate,” said Winfrey.

Four-year-old Lucy Vandrell is a student at Little Light House. Her parents, Katie and Jon, said she was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at birth. Katie explained this will be Lucy’s third year at the development center. When she first started, Lucy was using a walker—now she only needs small leg braces.

“When you have a child with special needs the early intervention is crucial, it’s vital. The quicker that you can get the therapy that they so desperately need just makes the biggest difference moving forward,” said Katie. “On top of that, just her personality, her spirit, her faith it’s just all grown and become stronger and it’s all because of this amazing place.”

Winfrey said there are plans to renovate the old facility to serve more students and lower their wait list numbers. Both centers would serve about 145 children in the Tulsa metro area.

“It’s a just going to be able to help more people now,” said Lucy’s father, Jon.

“It’s just really important and this place is a blessing to our family,” said Katie.

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