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Blinn partners with local child development program to host eighth annual children’s Christmas party

Blinn students and faculty volunteer to serve Early Childhood Intervention children and their families

Blinn students and faculty volunteer to serve Early Childhood Intervention children and their families

December 13, 2018

A table overflowing with dozens of colorful children’s books in the Blinn College-Bryan Campus Student Center left brothers Gabriel and Isaac Zacharias mesmerized for nearly half an hour while their mother, Valeria Alvarado, caught a breather nearby.

The book table, various holiday-themed arts and crafts, pizza and cookies, and visits from Santa Claus were just a few of the many activities to partake in at the eighth annual Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Christmas Party. Since 2011, Blinn students and faculty have partnered with ECI, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston, to host the holiday gathering for children with disabilities and developmental delays and their families.

“My boys love parties,” said Alverado, whose 2-year-old son, Isaac, receives assistance from an ECI speech therapist. “We have been a part of ECI Brazos Valley since March, and it has been such a beneficial experience. Tonight is just another example of how they assist us and make us feel welcome.”

After picking out a few books to take home, the Zacharias brothers joined approximately 100 other children and their families as they mingled around the Student Center, making candy canes with pipe cleaners and beads, paper snowmen, and plastic cup ornaments with help from dozens of students in Blinn’s Child Development and Education programs.

“We get as much out of this party as the children do, if not more,” said Amy Jones, Child Development Program Coordinator. “Most of these students will be working with children and their families in various settings in the future, and the ECI Christmas Party allows them to apply concepts they have learned in the classroom.”

Students in Blinn’s child development and education classes, Blinn faculty and staff, and Brazos Valley community members and businesses donated the books, stuffed animals, craft supplies, food and refreshments, and door prizes for the party.

“This collaboration has been just amazing for both ECI and Blinn,” said Jessica Christian, ECI Brazos Valley Team Manager. “Not only does it give students experience working with children with disabilities or developmental delays, it gives families the opportunity to relax and have a good time.”

Registration for Blinn’s Spring semester is available through Sunday, Jan. 13. College officials encourage early registration for convenient scheduling and placement in high-demand courses.

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