Kids First looking for help to purchase tutoring trailer

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The director of an Alabaster center for at-risk youth is seeking help in bringing a quiet tutoring area to the facility in the city’s Simmsville community.

Kids First Awareness Community Center is off Shelby County 11 and offers after-school and summer programs to local at-risk children. The center regularly works to identify children who are falling behind in school subjects, and provides tutoring services to help bring the children up to grade level.

Because the center accommodates many children from kindergarten through high school every day, the center’s limited space can get noisy, said Kids First Executive Director Cindy Hawkins.

“We have kind of run out of space,” Hawkins said. “One of the things we do is to give reading and math tests, that way we know which kids need extra help.

“The problem is that we don’t have a quiet place for the kids to learn with a one-on-one tutor,” Hawkins added. “I’m having to put them in my closet right now.”

Hawkins is looking to purchase a classroom trailer to house eight and 10 children and an instructor to provide them with a quiet learning area. The trailer will have electricity, air conditioning and heating.

Hawkins said she has already located a potential trailer, but is looking for help to fund the purchase, which likely will total between $8,000-$9,000.

“We think we can buy the trailer for about $6,500,” Hawkins said. “But that is not including delivery, setup and running all the electrical hookups.

“It will probably be between $8,000 and $9,000 to buy it, get it here and get it set up,” she added. “We’ve got all the tables and chairs that will go in it already.”

Hawkins said she has several fundraising ideas for the project, but encouraged anyone with a fundraising idea to contact the center.

“We’d really like to get it set up sometime between now and the summer. At least before classes start back,” she said.

To donate to the project, or to share fundraising ideas, call Hawkins at 706-9467.