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Olympic swimmer to visit Egleston

Olympic swimmer to visit Egleston

ATLANTA -- Four-time Olympic medalist Kaitlin Sandeno has joined forces with the Jessie Rees Foundation to spread holiday cheer to the young patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Sandeno will be at the DeKalb County children's hospital from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. She will help distribute Holiday JoyJars to kids fighting cancer.

Holiday JoyJars are the brainchild of Erik Rees, CEO of the Jessie Rees Foundation. Rees' daughter Jessie founded the charity before passing away from brain cancer in January. Each JoyJar contains up to 20 new, age-appropriate toys.

"Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston provides courageous kids with cancer with groundbreaking care and healing," Rees said in a statement. "They embody Jessie's motto, 'Never Ever Give Up,' and we are honored to distribute Holiday JoyJars with Kaitlin there."

UPS and Anthem Blue Cross of California are sponsoring Rees and Sandeno's visit to the hospital.

Governor's Office of Children and Families gives second grant to DeKalb

Governor's Office of Children and Families gives second grant to DeKalb

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis announced on Tuesday that DeKalb will receive a second performance-based grant from the Governor's Office of Children and Families.

According to Ellis's office, the $300,000 Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting grant will be put towards ensuring that children ages 0-5 are ready for school. The grant will also provide prenatal health support for pregnant women using the Parent as Teachers and Early Head Start/Home Based Option models for home visiting.

To provide services to families, DeKalb County will partner with Refugee Family Services, Scottdale Child Development and Family Resource Center and Partnership for Community Action - Early Head Start.

Through the previous MIECHV grant, DeKalb families received home visiting services, including all cultures, socioeconomic statuses, races and circumstantial needs.


Emory Halloween fun begins Thursday

Emory Halloween fun begins Thursday

ATLANTA -- Jake's Open House, an Emory Halloween tradition, will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25.

Stop by the Miller-Ward Alumni House for an evening of family-friendly activities, including arts and crafts, games, a bounce house, prizes and more.

Admission to Jake's Open House is free. Refreshments from Mellow Mushroom will be available for purchase.

This event is only the beginning of the Halloween fun at Emory. Other upcoming events include a pumpkin carving contest, a haunted tour and a zombie walk.

Get a full list of events and details at emory.edu.

Path2College scholarship coloring contest ends Sept. 30

Path2College scholarship coloring contest ends Sept. 30

ATLANTA -- Georgia children in Pre-K through 5th grade can now color their way to a college scholarship from the Path2College 529 Plan.

In honor of College Savings Month, the statewide college savings program is hosting a coloring contest with a $1,529 scholarship at stake.

To win the money, children must color a picture of Hootie the Wise Old Owl and complete a sentence: When I graduate, I'm going to be a ________.

Download the picture of Hootie here.

Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 30 and must be received no later than Oct. 5. More information about the contest can be found at path2college529.com.

A winner will be randomly chosen in mid-October.

Get Your Kids Moving Outdoors

Get Your Kids Moving Outdoors

By Eric King, ASLA, King Landscaping, www.EricKingLandscaping.com

Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents. Physical activity can help control weight; build lean muscle; reduce fat; promote strong bone, muscle and joint development; and decrease the risk of obesity. To grow up to a healthy weight, kids need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day.

It's getting more difficult to get children to want to go outdoors. Let's Move, a nationwide effort to raise a healthier generation, says eight to 18 year-old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media during a typical day.

We are fortunate to live in a warm climate that provides ample opportunities for children to play outside. What we need to do is remove the obstacles that deter them from doing so.

Protect Your Kids and Pets from Summer Heat

Protect Your Kids and Pets from Summer Heat

Summer in the south is officially here! With rising temperatures, it is important to take steps to protect those around us who might be vulnerable to the heat, like our children and pets.

Did you know that we lose heat by sweating? Water literally evaporates into the atmosphere and sucks the heat out of our bodies. Children produce even more heat than adults. This is because they have more body surface for their height. Children are also closer to the ground – and to hot pavement. They can easily become dehydrated or overheated.

Here are some tips to keep your children and pets safe in the heat.

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

ATLANTA -- Georgia Connections Academy has made the grade.

The state's first free virtual charter school received very positive feedback from the parents of its students during the 2011-12 school year.

Almost 90 percent of the parents who responded to a survey gave the school a grade of either A or B, and 92 percent they would recommend GACA to other parents. Eighty-five percent of parents said they were more satisfied with GACA than with their children's previous schools.

About 52 percent of the school's 610 families responded to the survey, according to GACA officials.

"Our parent satisfaction survey really illustrates our commitment to accountability," principal Heather Robinson said in a statement. "We value this parent feedback and use it to help make our virtual school program better. I am very pleased with the results, in particular the positive feedback about our teachers and the curriculum."