Kids First gifted a school bus

Alabaster's Kids First Awareness Community Center recently received a school bus to transport kids to and from the center. (Contributed/Leonard Smith Jr.)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Volunteers at Alabaster’s Kids First Awareness 21st Century Community Center will be able to more easily transport children to and from the center after the center was recently gifted a small school bus.

Kids First officials received the bus during the organization’s 10th birthday party, which was held April 14 at the center for at-risk youth in Alabaster’s Simmsville community.

The bus was a gift from State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, Alabaster First United Methodist Church, Asbury Church, Anne and Bob Shiller and the Alabaster Express Tire and Auto Service Center, said Kids First Executive Director Cindy Hawkins.

Hawkins said the center has been trying to get a small bus “for years,” and said the bus will help the center serve more kids in the community.

“The bus is really for us to pick up and drop off kids who need help with reading, math or other subjects,” Hawkins said. “This will really help us in the winter, because some of the kids can’t walk here when it’s so cold outside.”

The birthday celebration, which was sponsored by Hoover’s Hunter Street Baptist Church, also included a community block party. Kids First held several events throughout the day, including a clothing giveaway, live music from RT56 and the Kids First Praise Team, horseback riding, a basketball game and more.

More than 300 attended the celebration, including Mark Ward with the Alabama Department of Education, representatives from The Lovelady Center and members of several area churches.