May 3, 2008
UNIVERSITY AREA – Every Sunday and some weekday afternoons, Jacqueline Cadet’s children spend time at It’s All About Kids, a nonprofit agency offering etiquette lessons, reading tutoring, art classes and a children’s church worship service.
Cadet wanted to learn more about what the children are doing at the free program and recently attended a parents night, sponsored by the agency at its center at Carlisle Lakes Apartments.
The meeting included information about current programs, an opportunity to request additional programs for children and adults, and a free spaghetti dinner served to about 20 children and a dozen parents, agency staff members and volunteers.
“My kids come here every Sunday, and I wanted to see what it was all about for myself,” said Cadet, who lives at Carlisle Lakes with her four daughters and son.
It’s All About Kids Executive Director Wanda DeLaRosa said she started the monthly meetings this year to offer more support to the families.
“When you are impacting the children, you have to reach into the home,” DeLaRosa said in an interview after the meeting. “I was just an outsider before. Now, I am a part of the family.”
During the meeting, DeLaRosa asked the parents whether they would attend meetings for adults about improving credit and understanding finances.
Speaker Kara Moore, from Genesis, a nonprofit credit counseling agency, told the attendees about the free classes available through her agency.
DeLaRosa also wanted to know what other activities they would like for their children.
“It’s all about you guys; it’s all about your children. We are here to help you,” DeLaRosa told the parents.
Several mentioned more programs on child safety and a way to address safety concerns they see at the apartment complex.
Darhleen Major attended the program with her 5-year-old granddaughter, Shiasia Bloodworth, who lives with her.
“There is so much going on in the street. They the children can be influenced by almost anything,” Major said. “It’s stuff you don’t want them be involved in.”
The grandmother added that if parents get more involved in their children’s lives, “The kids will talk to them.”
Tribune correspondent Lenora Lake can be reached at (813) 865-4851 or firstname.lastname@example.org.