Kids Awareness Center donates 125 backpacks loaded with school supplies
Published 12:40 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2016
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Staff Writer
ALABASTER – Posters and pictures cover the walls of Kids First Awareness Center at 100 Mount Olive Road in Alabaster, reminding them of love, God, community, family, education and most importantly to respect others.
Creek View Elementary School took its entire staff to visit Kids First Monday, Aug. 8, so they could learn all about what the learning center does for local kids.
There were an estimated 80 staff members from the elementary school who made the trip, which was set up between program founder Cindy Hawkins and Creek View counselors.
“Today is just a day to bring the community together, for them to move forward and help the kids do better in school and stay away from drugs, and just improve their community,” Hawkins said. “We want them to understand what direction they are going in and that direction is forward.”
Teachers and staff from Creek View took a tour of the center and learned about everything offered at Kids First. They also held a community dance with all kids, teachers and students.
“What better way to start the school year than helping out kids?” said Creek View Principal Charissa Cole. “We are focused on doing three things: Collaborating, communicating and celebrating.”
Kona Ice also joined the party to help kids enjoy one of their last days of summer.
School supplies were donated from all over Shelby County and Kids First ended up with 125 backpacks all loaded with different school supplies. Each grade level from the elementary school brought different supplies to help out. There were also 31 gift bags packed with donated shoes and shirts.
“This is the first day we’ve had this many teachers come to the center because most people just roll by us; they don’t even know we’re back in here,” Hawkins said. “This is a way to expose us to the teachers so we can get these kids the help that they need because a lot of them really need help.”
Hawkins said she started this organization because kids would go back to school with no supplies or they would run out and couldn’t afford to get more. She even keeps supplies stocked in her closet and hidden away for kids who run out of them throughout the school year.
“If you give these kids a good foundation of learning and loving and being kind to one another then they have something to grow on,” she said. “Most kids grow up with love, which will help them grow and grow, but a lot of my kids don’t get that same kind of love where their parent goes home and reads to them every night. That’s a difference, a big difference.”
Alabaster City Schools start back on Thursday and a lot of kids will have backpacks and supplies they may not have had without the help of Creek View Elementary School, Hawkins and the Kids First Awareness program.
“It’s just a blessing to be able to help these kids and their parents with school supplies,” Hawkins said. “That’s money they save that they can spend on food or bills. I just want to be like an umbrella with several arms to reach out and protect all of these kids.”