A local preschool has approached the Helena-City Council concerning providing funds for education stations throughout the community.
According to Jacqueline Mills of R & J's ABC Preschool/Kiddie Kollege is expanding to target children of all age ranges. The goal of the education stations are to provide a “Safe Haven” for all children while offering a relaxing atmosphere that will provide food, fun, games and study enrichment activities during the most critical hours of the day.
Mills said research indicates that this type of environment will help build a better future citizens for our community as well as reduce the crime rate that occurs between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m.
“We are embarking on opening two additional centers that will be located at 915 Poplar and 125 Plaza Street,” commented Mills.
The centers are currently open for review and ABC Preschool invites the council and the public to visit them. The Poplar center is currently open and the on Plaza Street center will officially open Monday, Feb. 11.
“We are extremely excited about offering these services to the community to all children regardless of race, sex, age, origin or disability,” commented Mills. Mills said currently the center is only available to children of the ages 3 to five.
“These funds will be used especially for student arts and craft supplies, snacks, study materials, exercise equipment and other supplies that are deemed necessary to offer an enriched program and environment that will be appealing to the children being served,” Mills explained.
There are three centers outside the Phillips County area. They include Osceola, Jonesboro and Marianna. Mills said all the centers rely on volunteers, some paid staff and donations as well as grants.
“Your support is greatly appreciated and we encourage you to come out to our facilities and see what we are doing to enrich the lives of our youths,” said Mills.
According to Joe St. Columbia, Resolution 16 was approved on June 23, 2011 and details service for one year for the South Community Center.
“They have already been approved this year,” stated councilman John Huff.
Huff made a motion be made to include the ABC Preschool/Kiddie Kollege program into Resolution 16 without increasing the $500 a month funding. The council agreed that a contract of service would have to be presented in order to authorize the addition to the resolution.
“We don't have a contract for their proposal to consider in order for the city to authorize the over ride of such resolution,” commented councilman Don Etherly.
The motion was withdrawn and a contract was requested to be presented at the next council session.