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Students get Christmas surprises at REACH

Students at the Resources Elevating All Children Higher (REACH) program in Concord were treated to a Christmas surprise by Pike Kiwanis Club. They provided enough funds to buy gifts for 30 kids in the REACH program. Kiwanis Club is raising funds to purchase and install a play set for REACH’s little children. Donations may be made at any United Bank branch to the Kiwanis of Pike County account with REACH in the memo. Volunteers led by former Kiwanis president Teresa Watson took the names of each child and went Christmas shopping for them. The gifts were presented during a pizza party on the last day of school before Christmas break. Prior to the party, the students attended a Kiwanis Club meeting, recited the REACH program’s philosophy and gave them a thank you card. ’We’ve been doing great things. The children will have a big Christmas celebration this year,’ said REACH volunteer Patricia Beckham. ‘For November, we were only open 15 days and had 377 children attend. There were 448 children cared for in October.’ The REACH program started in October 2013 when the Boys and Girls Club was closed due to budget cuts. Volunteers and members of Old Mount Calvary Baptist Church stepped up to continue providing services to local children. REACH provides affordable after school care for all kids including a snack each day. The program’s philosophy encourages independence and confidence and has been memorized by all REACH students from elementary to high school. The philosophy was written by women at the West Central Integrated Treatment Facility in Zebulon. It says, ‘First let us know these things: That my life matters. That I am not a product of my environment. I have the potential to go far. That there are people who love me no matter who they are. Then let us do these things: Learn as much as possible, have respect for myself and those who teach. Have courage in my future and what I can reach. Keep going no matter what. Always lend a helping hand to those who may fall. In the end, let us all be proud of who we are, steady in our education so we can go far.’ Members of the Crapemyrtle Garden Club made a donation to REACH recently. Charles Burden donated T-shirts so program members could ride in the Dec. 14 Pike Youth Parade. Rev. Travis Ferguson is the pastor of Old Mount Calvary Baptist.

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