Flickinger Learning Center receives grant for transport van
by Margaret Hurlbert
February 07, 2023

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Every school year, numerous children benefit from participating in Flickinger Learning Center’s afterschool program, getting academic support and having a safe place to go in the afternoons. However, Director Danni Zumwalt saw that many more could not participate because they could not get to Flickinger’s main location at 413 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine. “Transportation has always been a barrier for our students,” she noted. “Many parents work after school and rely on childcare services.”

For a time, Flickinger Learning Center arranged for bussing to their center through Muscatine Community School District, but when the cost to do so grew too high, they discontinued it. After not having transportation available for some time, Zumwalt saw the negative impact it had on students whose families could not arrange for transportation on their own and decided to apply for a transportation grant through the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. Using the initial grant, Flickinger conducted a feasibility study which indicated many students would utilize transportation services and that their attendance would benefit from them.

With this information available, Zumwalt applied for and received a second grant from the Carver Trust for $40,000 to put towards the purchase of a van. Additional private donations of $15,000 enabled Flickinger Learning Center to finally purchase their van and bring it to Muscatine. A generous donation from a volunteer made it possible for the center to have local artist Jim Hetzler of JC Hetz Studios create vinyl decals for the van, allowing it to proudly display Flickinger Learning Center’s name and logo.

Flickinger Learning Center’s new van, affectionately named “Walter.” Photo courtesy Flickinger Learning Center.

A long-term goal of Zumwalt’s, she expressed excitement that Flickinger finally has a transport van of its own: “Having a 10-year history with the organization, I have witnessed how lack of transportation affects a child’s ability to receive and succeed with our services. As a result, my goal has been to secure transportation for our students. I traveled to Chicago to get the van, whom we have dubbed ‘Walter,’ and would do so many times over to ensure our students could access safe and reliable transportation.”

If you have students who currently attends Flickinger Learning Center or who you would like to have attend the afterschool program who would benefit from transportation, Zumwalt encourages you to sign them up either online or by visiting Flickinger in person. Like all of their programs, any student who uses the van service may do so for free.

Over the past two years, Flickinger Learning Center has worked hard to make many improvements to their space and resources, such as replacing flooring and repainting the walls. Zumwalt considers the addition of the van just one more step in making Flickinger Learning Center a welcoming place filled with caring volunteers and staff who will provide the best possible experience to students for years to come.

Watch PCTV Live

Recent Stories

Get Discover Muscatine in Your Inbox

Select list(s):