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Concert reverberates into classroom benefits
Annual Rock in the Spring helps kids at Challenged Child
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Rock in the Spring
What: Concert to benefit Challenged Child and Friends
Gates open at 6 p.m., concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Brenau Amphitheater, Prior Street, Gainesville; the rain location will be the Brenau gym
How much: $20 in advance, $25 at the door; tickets can be purchased at Green’s Grocery, Challenged Child and Friends or online.
More info: 770-535-8372

When Isaac Hubbard, 3, arrived at Challenged Child and Friends a few years ago, he couldn’t speak or walk.

But just a few months ago the little boy who is full of smiles took his first steps into the school.

"If it weren’t for this school, Isaac wouldn’t have had a chance," said Rhonda Strange, Isaac’s grandmother. "I got Isaac in September 2008. He couldn’t hold his head up, he couldn’t open his hands, he had no trunk control.

"His first little sentence was three weeks ago and it is was to my son as he was leaving to go back to the base and all he could say was ‘can I go bye-bye Daddy?’"

Challenged Child and Friends provides educational, therapeutic, nursing and family support services to typical and challenged children.

Strange, who brings her grandson to Challenged Child every day from Habersham County, said the school has changed his life.

"If it weren’t for the school Isaac wouldn’t be the person that he is now," she said. "He would not be the child he is now. It’s not one person, it’s everybody here; it’s not a school, it’s a family."

Challenged Child has several fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for tuition, classroom supplies and building expansions, among other needs.

One of the most popular benefits, Rock in the Spring, will be Saturday at the Brenau Amphitheater in Gainesville featuring local band Mid Life Crisis.

Mid Life Crisis has performed at Rock in the Spring for eight years now, and the band is made up of Gainesville doctors, lawyers and business owners.

Guests can bring a picnic and beverages. Also, orders can be placed with Turnstile Deli by today and they will bring boxed lunches to the event.

For Renee Hilley, education director at Challenged Child, the fundraising events are important to the work she does every day.

"The money will provide scholarships first and foremost," she said. "Then within the classrooms, just for classroom support to help with educational tools, therapy, small manipulative items that are in the classroom. And we’ve always talked about implementing a character education program that would help with social skill development in students."

Liz Hansen, classroom F teacher for 3- and 4-year-olds, has had success with the character education program in her class.

"We use puppets and they learn about feelings," Hansen said. "There are big pictures of other children and they can see that they are smiling or they are sad or they are angry. Then we talk about what they do if they are angry."

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