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Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

(WXIA) -- More than 80,000 Georgia children are enrolled in the state's Pre-K Program for the 2014-15 school year.

Pre-K is open to all 4 year olds, regardless of household income. Assistant commissioner Susan Adams said that it is the first school experience for many children.

"For this reason, we take our roles very seriously, and we work really hard to provide Georgia's children with positive and meaningful experiences," Adams said in a release.

In Pre-K, students study language, literacy and math while making new friends and building foundations for lifelong learning. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning recommends parents visit their children's classrooms in advance to familiarize them with their new surroundings, and dress them in comfortable clothes and shoes every day. If students have a tendency to feel lonely, parents can send them to school with family photos to cheer them up, and blankets or stuffed animals to snuggle at naptime.

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

(WXIA) -- Kroger customers in metro Atlanta recently showed that they are a charitable bunch.

During the final two weeks in May, shoppers raised $232,000 for the Children's Miracle Network through the Miracle Balloons promotion.

For only $1, a customer could purchase a paper balloon to hang in a local Kroger. All proceeds from the fundraiser went directly to Children's Miracle Network hospitals and health networks, such as Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"Kroger customers consistently show their care for our communities by constantly going above and beyond with their charitable donations," Glynn Jenkins, spokesperson for Kroger's Atlanta division, said in a release. "Through their support of the Miracle Balloons program, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of children."

Cherokee County participates in Seamless Summer program

Cherokee County participates in Seamless Summer program

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- The Cherokee County School District has signed up for the USDA's Seamless Summer Option for Children program.

Seamless Summer provides breakfast and lunch in the summertime to children who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year. Last year, nearly 65,000 kids ate nutritious meals through Cherokee County's Seamless Summer program.

More than 32 percent of Cherokee County's students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Families do not need to provide proof of income for their children to be fed through Seamless Summer.

This year's program begins Monday, June 9 and ends Friday, July 25. Food giveaway locations include:

East Gate Mobile Home Park
6310 Bells Ferry Road, Acworth
* Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Shadowood Mobile Home Park
6359 Bells Ferry Road, Acworth
* Lunch (clubhouse): 10:45 a.m. to 11 a.m.
* Lunch (playground): 11:05 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

(WXIA) -- Youth running groups, rejoice -- the Atlanta Track Club has created a scholarship program just for you.

The Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge will award scholarships to the three organizations that have the most children registered for the 2014 Peachtree Jr. or Lil' Peach Dash.

The first place team will be given a $1,500 scholarship, a $1,250 cash donation from the Atlanta Track Club and $250 in Sports Authority store credit. Two runners-up will each get $750 scholarships, $500 donations and $250 in Sports Authority credit.

"Through the Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge, we are able to give back to organizations that share our goal of inspiring children to be healthier and more active," Atlanta Track Club Executive Director Rich Kenah said in a release. "Atlanta Track Club is proud to partner with Sports Authority to offer these scholarships to provide extra motivation to keep kids moving."

Chabad to host Community Passover Seder

Chabad to host Community Passover Seder

KENNESAW, Ga. -- Few Jewish holidays evoke the same warm sentiments as Passover: memories of family and friends gathered as the four cups of wine are poured, the four questions asked and the Matzah served all contribute to Passover’s popularity in the Jewish community.

Bringing the warmth and tradition of this festival to the Cobb, KSU & Cherokee Communities, the Chabad Jewish Center is inviting residents to participate in a Community Seder to be held on Monday, April 14 at 7:45 p.m.

The Seders take participants through the wondrous liberation of their ancestors from Egyptian bondage, while sharing the relevance and beauty of the age old festival in their modern lives. Included in the Seder will be a four-course catered dinner paired with a variety of fine imported wines and handmade round 'Shmurah' Matzah from Israel.

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

(WXIA) -- A few seats are still available at Georgia Connections Academy for the 2014-15 school year.

Georgia Connections Academy is a virtual K-12 public school that allows students to learn at their own pace. It is fully accredited and open to all school-age Georgia children.

"We are enrolling 1,000 additional students across all grade levels for the coming academic year," lead principal Heather Robinson said in a release. "We have a waiting list as we open enrollment, so we encourage parents to get their applications in now."

Georgia Connections Academy will hold a number of information sessions across the state for parents who want to know more. Additional enrollment information is available at connectionsacademy.com/georgia-virtual-school.

Upcoming information sessions in the Atlanta area include:

Seamless Summer program feeds children when school is out

Seamless Summer program feeds children when school is out

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education will once again offer its Seamless Summer nutrition program when school lets out for the year.

Seamless Summer provides free meals to children under the age of 18. No registration or income verification is required to receive the food.

According to the GDOE, more than 77 percent of the 500,000 breakfasts and 1.1 million lunches it serves during the school year are provided for free or at a reduced price. Georgia ranks in the top five nationwide for states with children who participate in the School Breakfast Program and/or National School Lunch Program.

In the past, more than 2,200 locations across Georgia have served meals through the Seamless Summer program.

Learn more at fns.usda.gov.