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Local businesses are participating in a new program in Ada called Project Invest -- Preparing Our Youngest Citizens.

Project Invest was developed by East Central University's Child Care Resource & Referral Agency and Smart Start South Central to assist local child care providers, those who care for Ada's youngest citizens.

Beginning in August, area businesses participating in Project Invest will assist local child care programs in a variety of ways. Each month will have a different focus, such as hosting a book drive, sending employees to read in child care programs or participating in career days, Hudson said.

An Appreciation Celebration for area child care providers and businesses participating in Project Invest will be held at 6 p.m. July 23 [THURSDAY], at the Ada Arts & Heritage Center.

"We hope to bring awareness to the valuable work that is done by our local child care providers," said Crystal Hudson, outreach specialist for CCRRA. "Not only do these individuals consistently offer safe, reliable child care so that families can work or attend school, they are also training and preparing our future workforce while operating on limited resources."

Hudson said 15 child care centers and nine child care homes in Ada are licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

"We are hoping that Project Invest becomes a business and community partnership," she said. "As businesses begin to realize the importance of preparing our youngest citizens to be our future leaders, we hope that will carry over to the community."

Any business or organization interested in becoming a part of Project Invest should contact Crystal Hudson at 580-436-5202 or

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