Kids First launches adult program

Zumba instructor Maxine Burns leads the group gathered for the H.O.P.E. program kick off at Kids First Awareness Community Center off Simmsville Road in Alabaster in a round of Zumba on Sept. 25. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Adults in Alabaster in need of everything from credit counseling to health and nutrition advice soon will be able to find everything they need in their own community.

Kids First Awareness Community Center, a center off Simmsville Road in Alabaster offering programs to at-risk youth, kicked off its H.O.P.E. program during a Sept. 25 celebration at the center.

H.O.P.E., which stands for helping our parents through education, is an extension of the programs the center has been offering for the past 10 years, said Kids First Executive Director Cindy Hawkins.

“The goal with this program is to help make a positive difference in your daily life, and to help provide a better quality of life for you and your family,” Hawkins told the more than 100 visitors gathered for the ceremony. “If we can help one family in Alabaster, we’ve helped one family in Shelby County, we’ve helped one family in Alabama and it goes on.”

Through the program, Kids First will work with the city and several businesses and government agencies to offer classes and activities for Alabaster adults.

The classes will be held at several venues throughout the city, such as the Alabaster Career Center off Plaza Circle, the Alabaster Public Library and local churches.

The free classes will focus on computer skills, preparing for the GED test, being ready to enter the workforce, nutrition, exercise and several other areas. Kids First will offer free child care during all classes.

“Taking it to the next step is the goal of this program,” said Alabaster Mayor David Frings. “She (Hawkins) is now wanting to reach out to the adults, and I think that will complete the circle.”

Frings said he would like the city to one day also offer a citizens’ academy in conjunction with the Alabaster Police Department to give residents tips on staying safe and to make them more familiar with the city’s police.

H.O.P.E. has already finalized class times and locations through October. To view the calendar, and to learn more about the program, visit Kidsfirst123.com/hope-program.