Children and families in our HANDS (Health Access Nurturing Development Services) program partied with a purpose recently – celebrating their graduation with games, food, gifts, mortarboards and plenty of fun.
HANDS is one of six core programs at Family & Children’s Place, and focuses principally on helping prepare parents to raise a happy, healthy child in a home free from neglect and abuse. Parent visitors mentor moms and dads in parenting and behavioral skills, and techniques and activities that stimulate the baby’s development to give him or her the best start possible in life.
Recently, HANDS recognized 46 graduates – one of its largest ever groups – and 20 families participated in the ceremony, sponsored by WellCare and UPS, which provided pizza for the children, families and staff. Kendall Moore, Marlee Jones and Melanie Inman planned and coordinated this graduation.
Along with pizza, families enjoyed fruit and cake at the Dr. Seuss-themed party, which included a “One Fish, Two Fish” fishbowl activity, using the baby’s handprints to make fish; a Cat in the Hat mask activity; coloring station; graduation cap decorating station; and a station to decorate sippy cups.
The Louisville Free and Public Library provided backpacks for every child, and the backpacks were stuffed with board books, stickers, bubbles, modeling clay, cookie cutters for the modeling clay, crayons and a sippy cup.
The HANDS team was especially thankful to Family and Children’s Place volunteer Mary Ann for helping prepare activities and backpacks, and recognized Ms. Angela Katz’s students from St. Francis High School for helping prepare the event’s activities.
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Melanie Inman.
Congratulations to the new graduates and families, and special thanks to the amazing HANDS team for the incredible difference they are making in the lives of so many families.