A ribbon-cutting for a new addition to the safe, all-ability playground equipment at Missouri Southern’s Lion Cub Academy is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, on the childcare center’s playground.

The OmniSpin Spinner is a merry-go-round that is wheelchair and walker accessible. Nikki Tappana, the center’s director, says it is designed for vestibular stimulation – how the inner ear and brain communicate to maintain balance.

“The Omnispin can help better improve children’s motor skills,” she says. “It’s not just for normally developing children, but also children with delayed development.”

In 2017, the former Child Development Center moved to its new home across Newman Road, where it shares space with the Joplin Regional Center. It serves children ages 1 to 5, including children of students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the community.

It offers classrooms, an outdoor playground, and enough space to accommodate nearly 100 students.

Last year, Leadership Joplin kicked off a fundraising effort to purchase the new equipment after taking a tour of the Lion Cub Academy. Other donors, including the Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and Anne Sharp also helped to meet the $15,000 fundraising goal.

The ribbon-cutting will showcase the new equipment to the community. Refreshments will be provided.