Santa Claus talks to Tania Beard (from left), Haley Fulwood and Tayzion Tankersley at the Harlem Neighborhood Development Authority Day Care Academy Christmas party.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
Santa Claus took a couple hours out of his busy schedule Friday to hand out presents to more than 30 children at the Harlem Neighborhood Development Authority Day Care Academy.
"Our goal is to always try to generate an atmosphere of learning and fun," said the Rev. Melvin Adams, the authority president and pastor of New Holt Baptist Church in Harlem. "This is the second year we've done the Christmas party, and it gives us a chance to treat our kids to a fun event. It gives the parents the chance to bond with one another."
About 30 children are enrolled in the academy's day care and after-school activities. They accept children ages 6 weeks to 12 years and are able to take care of 50 children.
At the Christmas party, Santa played with children and later handed out presents donated by the Columbia County West Rotary Club, Cub Scout Troop 156, Harlem High School Interact Club and other groups. Members of Fort Gordon's Youth Challenge Academy helped Santa pass out presents.
"Part of our cadets' curriculum is to do community service," said Jan Zimmerman, director of YCA. "This is a very fun way for them to fulfill part that requirement."
The academy's day care and after-school activities are privately funded. Adams said the nonprofit facility always is accepting donations and currently needs new indoor and outdoor playground equipment.
Donations can be mailed to: Harlem Neighborhood Development Authority Day Care Academy, P.O. Box 1001, Harlem, GA 30814. For more information, call 556-0209.
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