Kids First hosts family day

Children at Kids First Awareness Community Center in Alabaster's Simmsville community joined with their families and school officials May 5 as they celebrated Family Involvement Day at the center. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Dozens of children and their families joined principals from every school in Alabaster May 5 as Kids First Awareness Community Center celebrated its Family Involvement Day.

Kids First Executive Director Cindy Hawkins said she planned the day to strengthen the bond between Alabaster’s at-risk students, their families and their schools.

“We are just trying to do whatever we can to make a difference,” Hawkins said. “We want to improve these kids’ lives, and you can’t improve their lives at school if you don’t work with their families.”

The event featured a cookout, a performance by the Kids First step team and an address by Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller.

Because Kids First, an after-school resource center in Alabaster’s Simmsville community, works to improve the grades, behaviors and study habits of the city’s at-risk children, Fuller said the organization has improved the city’s schools.

“You truly make a difference in this community,” Fuller said. “When the kids are involved in something special like this, good things truly will happen to them.

“On the back of today’s program it says ‘It takes a village.’ Well, you have put this village together here, and it is making a difference in our schools,” Fuller added. “We see a smile on these kids’ faces because they are truly enjoying it here.”

During the event, children from each of the six schools in Alabaster presented their principals with cards and hand-made flowers. Hawkins also gave Fuller a scrapbook filled with pictures from Kids First.

Hawkins said bringing the kids together with their families and school officials helps to build a stronger bond between them, and helps parents and teachers work together to help make the children successful.

“Everyone wants to raise their kids to be productive members of society,” Hawkins said. “With strong families, you have strong schools. We’ve got to strengthen families so we can strengthen our schools.”