Make Play Smart

Early Learning Center

Make Play Smart

When people think of school readiness, most of the emphasis is focused on academic-related skills. And those are vital.

But the lessons play teaches build a child’s equally important social and emotional development, the “soft skills” that adults will look for in them later on.

Can we solve problems, think critically, and work together in a team? Can we manage our emotions and read the emotions of other people?

Are we good sports — win or lose?

We hope the design and installation of these colorful, fun decals will reinforce concepts that will be important for children when they start school. Skills like counting, letter naming, shape and color identification are built into the design of these decals.

Decal sponsorships are available as a set of 3 for $2,000. To learn more or to sponsor a set, email

Cantonment Rotary Club sponsored nine decals in Carver Park, a neighborhood park on Webb Street in Cantonment.

Club President Bobby King said the project was a great match for Rotary’s commitment to community, education and improving the lives of children.

“The research of Studer Community Institute on becoming an effective Early Learning City shows that focusing on early brain development of the children in our community will help tremendously,” King said. “The Make Play Smart decals will reach children and engage their minds while having fun playing at the same time.

The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Technology, Audi Pensacola, The Pensacola Realtors Association, the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum, Episcopal Day School have since joined the ranks of decal sponsors.

Pensacola resident Ella Manziek sponsored a set of decals at Henry Wyer Park on the corner of Belmont and Reus streets.

“We hope that this gift inspires children and their parents to come to Henry T. Wyer park and enjoy themselves and each other,” she said. “And we hope that it inspires others to support their neighborhood parks in this way.”

Artwork showing multi-color squares with numbers 1 to 10
Artwork of a sea turtle with multiple shapes on its shell

Early Learning Initiatives

An Early Learning City is community that give parents the tools, advice and support they need to help their children be ready for kindergarten. From healthcare to business, everyone has a part to play.