Kids Count Rawlings brings families together

Kids Count Rawlings staff, moms and their children play board games during Family Enrichment Day. From left are, Andria Guy, Jadarious “Jada” Butler, Laquan Johnson, Lewis Williams, Kids Count executive director Sabriena Williams, Kids Count program assistant Rahkia Brown and Treyvion Butler.

AIDA MALLARD/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 2:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 2:38 p.m.

A mock presidential election, tips for parents, games galore, and lunch were some of the family-bonding activities offered at the inaugural Family Enrichment Day.



What: Kids Count Rawlings, a program for elementary students.
When: 2:35-5:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1:30-5 p.m. Fridays.
Where: Faith United Methodist Church.
Information: Call 352-372-0038.

Sponsored by Kids Count, the event, which drew nearly 20 parents and their students, was held Saturday at Kids Count Rawlings, located on the grounds of Faith United Methodist Church at 3701 NE 15th St.

"We want to have a fun day," said Sabriena Williams, executive director of Kids Count, a nonprofit after-school program offered for children in kindergarten through third grades at Rawlings Elementary and Williams Elementary schools. Williams Elementary students and their parents enjoyed Family Enrichment Day on Monday evening at the Rotary Boys and Girls Club Mentor Center in Lincoln Estates.

Williams said those wishing to help the Kids Count program can do so by volunteering and making donations.

Rahkia Brown, program assistant at Kids Count, said the program focuses on reading literacy, character building, enrichment and parent involvement. She said one-on-one tutoring is provided by students from the University of Florida College of Education.

"You can see what your child does at Kids Count," Williams told the parents. "The important thing is that you are here with your child."

To educate children on the importance of voting, Williams and Brown took the children through the voting process, which included standing in line to vote, filling out a ballot, and then casting the ballot by inserting it into one of two boxes, with each box sporting a picture of presidential candidates Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

Jonesha Sallett, a third-grader at Rawlings, said she voted for Obama because "he's doing a good job."

Famiy-bonding activities included face painting, board games and field games. The children had an opportunity to select coats from a "clothing closet," and parents learned about their student's progress and received tips on how to be involved in their child's education.

Laquan Johnson gave Kids Count high marks for helping her son, Lewis Williams, improve in math and reading.

"You get to learn and have fun and go on field trips," said Lewis, also a third-grader at Rawlings.

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