Head Start kids get a little something extra for Christmas - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Head Start kids get a little something extra for Christmas

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 December 15, 2006

Thomasville--  The Head Start Christmas Outreach program came to life three years ago, when Judge Jim Hardy visited the Thomas County Child Development Center.  

"It was a vision he had to try and provide some measure of happiness and friendship and just to instill some good things into the children,"  says Cynthia L. Hope, director of the Thomas County Child Development Center.

Donations from the community and local businesses buy a gift for each of the one hundred and eighty children in the school.  Yuneeka Smith, mother of twin boys at the center says, "I think its great because some parents may not be able to give their children nothing but at least they get something from the school so they'll have a present to open."

This year the kids are getting V-Tech Light and Learn Boards. "It teaches them how to write the alphabets, how to write the numbers, how to distinguish between different colors," says Hope. 

The program's organizers hope by giving an educational toy, it will be more than just fun for now, but will also help them down the road.  "These children are our future and teaching them to read and write is very important," says Karen Ambrose of the Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office.

Thomas County Family Connections Director, Kathy Megahee says "if we can start our children at a young age, learning to read when they finally hit kindergarten they will be prepared."

 The kids also got a fun filled morning at school. At a special ceremony to hand out the gifts, the children and their parents enjoyed a concert by some of their classmates.

A surprise visit from Santa also gave them a few more things to take home with them.  "They're also gonna get some candy and some stuffed animals to cuddle up with when they're having a boo boo or a bad day," says Hope.

Organizers say they hope this program will continue for a long time to come. 

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