Texas Tech University

Gift From H-E-B to Provide Shade Structures to Child Development Research Center Playground

Ashley Brister

June 24, 2020

The new shade will deliver much-needed protection from the West Texas sun.

Located in one of the original and earliest areas on Texas Tech University's campus, the Christine DeVitt and Helen Devitt Jones Child Development Research Center (CDRC) playground has seen quite a few changes in its time.

Many of the older shade trees like this one have been removed over the past few years.

The children's playground area lies just beyond the historic Human Sciences Cottage. Over the past few years, many aging trees had to be removed as they began to die, leading to less shaded areas for the children of the CDRC.

Thanks to a generous gift from the H-E-B Tournament of Champions Charitable Trust, children will soon be able to enjoy the playground under a newly shaded area.

"While many of the trees have been replaced, it will be decades before they provide the shade and protection from the hot sun the older trees provided," said Stacy Johnson, director of the CDRC. "The shade structures generously donated by H-E-B will provide years of protection from the sun for our youngest Red Raiders. We are thankful for H-E-B and their investment in the CDRC and our mission of teaching, research and service."

Over the past 34 years, the H-E-B Tournament of Champions Charitable Trust has raised more than $118 million benefiting Special Olympics Texas and other organizations that focus on children, youth and education throughout Texas.

Children at the CDRC will soon be able to enjoy the playground under a new shade structure.

"The H-E-B Tournament of Champions is pleased to provide the Texas Tech University Child Development Research Center with the funds to construct a new shade structure that will deliver much-needed sun protection as the children explore the playground," said Mabrie Jackson, director of H-E-B Public Affairs.

Interim dean of the College of Human Sciences Tim Dodd said that, moving forward, it will be critical for programs in the college to develop strategic partnerships with organizations like H-E-B.

"The college is delighted to receive this support from H-E-B for a project that we have been hoping to complete for a number of years," Dodd said. "The CDRC has been a critical part of the college, its research and the university for several decades, and finding ways to make play and learning areas safer and more comfortable for the children and teachers is a priority."

The CDRC tentatively plans to have the shade up and ready for the start of the fall semester.