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  • Writer's pictureKelley Castlin-Gacutan

A Fantastic February!

February was so very busy for us and time honestly got away from me. I do want everyone to know about what occurred and what made it so meaningful.

Our local Walmart donated $1,000 toward the purchase of books for our students to start or extend their home libraries (see photo).

This collaborative effort between Kennrod and Walmart will make a positive difference because according to Get Georgia Reading, “two-thirds of Georgia’s third-graders are not reading on grade level, bringing long-term negative consequences to these children, their families, their communities, and our state.” By providing our students access to books in their homes, they are much more likely to read them – thereby, enhancing their reading and comprehension skills.

On February 10th, Kennedy (the “Kenn” in Kennrod) would have turned 21 years old. We celebrated her birthday by giving students an opportunity to make Valentines Day cards for the patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). The students were so proud to be able to communicate “get well thoughts” to the patients as several of them imagined how they would feel if they were hospitalized. After collecting the cards, I was able to take them to CHOA and I delivered them to the staff who expressed gratitude in our students giving back in this way. The visit to CHOA was particularly special to me because I spent a significant amount of time there with Kennedy.

Our month wrapped up with a special presentation by Amanda Walker, an entrepreneur and artist. Her business is Moo on You, which “was inspired by simply living life. Having fun, being silly, enjoying the child-like playfulness that we all have within us.” Amanda shared her journey in becoming an artist and inspired students to follow their dreams. Students were engaged throughout the presentation as Amanda shared her challenges and successes. Kennrod creates opportunities for professionals to meet students and share their stories in order for students to be informed and to meet people who can assist them in reaching their goals.

Special thanks to everyone who played a role in helping to make February such a fantastic month! There are indeed more great opportunities to come.

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