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J. Christopher's adopts 16 families for the holidays

J. Christopher's adopts 16 families for the holidays

(WXIA) -- J. Christopher's announced Monday it has "adopted" 16 families to give them the holiday of their dreams.

Every year, the restaurant chain helps the communities it serves by providing families in need with household goods, toys, books and school supplies. Customers have the option of giving gifts and donations to the cause.

This season's Adopt-a-Family campaign began Friday, Nov. 21. Participating locations and the schools their adopted families' children attend include:

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

(WXIA) -- More than 80,000 Georgia children are enrolled in the state's Pre-K Program for the 2014-15 school year.

Pre-K is open to all 4 year olds, regardless of household income. Assistant commissioner Susan Adams said that it is the first school experience for many children.

"For this reason, we take our roles very seriously, and we work really hard to provide Georgia's children with positive and meaningful experiences," Adams said in a release.

In Pre-K, students study language, literacy and math while making new friends and building foundations for lifelong learning. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning recommends parents visit their children's classrooms in advance to familiarize them with their new surroundings, and dress them in comfortable clothes and shoes every day. If students have a tendency to feel lonely, parents can send them to school with family photos to cheer them up, and blankets or stuffed animals to snuggle at naptime.

Making restaurants more friendly to moms

Making restaurants more friendly to moms

There is big push in Athens to make restaurants more accommodating to breastfeeding mothers.

A group called "Community Breastfeeding Coalition" is launching a campaign to offer Athens restaurants opportunities to list themselves as breastfeeding friendly online.

Restaurants would have to pay for that listing.

The group also wants stickers in windows of those restaurants to help moms.

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

(WXIA) -- Kroger customers in metro Atlanta recently showed that they are a charitable bunch.

During the final two weeks in May, shoppers raised $232,000 for the Children's Miracle Network through the Miracle Balloons promotion.

For only $1, a customer could purchase a paper balloon to hang in a local Kroger. All proceeds from the fundraiser went directly to Children's Miracle Network hospitals and health networks, such as Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"Kroger customers consistently show their care for our communities by constantly going above and beyond with their charitable donations," Glynn Jenkins, spokesperson for Kroger's Atlanta division, said in a release. "Through their support of the Miracle Balloons program, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of children."

Local restaurants make 5 Make-a-Wish dreams come true

Local restaurants make 5 Make-a-Wish dreams come true

(WXIA) -- Diners at two metro Atlanta-based restaurant chains had a hand in making wishes come true for five very special children.

Throughout March and April, J. Christopher's and Reveille Café customers donated more than $47,000 to the Make-a-Wish organizations in Georgia and Middle Tennessee. Make-a-Wish grants surprises to children living with life-threatening medical conditions.

Thanks to the diners' generosity, Make-a-Wish was able to send five kids on trips of a lifetime:

Andrea, age 3
Hematologic (blood) disorder
Andrea got to go to Disney World and meet her idols -- Mickey and Minnie; Peter Pan and Tinkerbell; Pluto and Goofy.

Bryce, age 4
Wilms' tumor (kidney cancer)
Bryce got to fly on a plane to Disney World, ride the rides and meet Mickey Mouse.

Elijah, age 8
Respiratory condition
Elijah took an "absolutely awesome" trip to Disney World.

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

(WXIA) -- Youth running groups, rejoice -- the Atlanta Track Club has created a scholarship program just for you.

The Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge will award scholarships to the three organizations that have the most children registered for the 2014 Peachtree Jr. or Lil' Peach Dash.

The first place team will be given a $1,500 scholarship, a $1,250 cash donation from the Atlanta Track Club and $250 in Sports Authority store credit. Two runners-up will each get $750 scholarships, $500 donations and $250 in Sports Authority credit.

"Through the Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge, we are able to give back to organizations that share our goal of inspiring children to be healthier and more active," Atlanta Track Club Executive Director Rich Kenah said in a release. "Atlanta Track Club is proud to partner with Sports Authority to offer these scholarships to provide extra motivation to keep kids moving."

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

(WXIA) -- A few seats are still available at Georgia Connections Academy for the 2014-15 school year.

Georgia Connections Academy is a virtual K-12 public school that allows students to learn at their own pace. It is fully accredited and open to all school-age Georgia children.

"We are enrolling 1,000 additional students across all grade levels for the coming academic year," lead principal Heather Robinson said in a release. "We have a waiting list as we open enrollment, so we encourage parents to get their applications in now."

Georgia Connections Academy will hold a number of information sessions across the state for parents who want to know more. Additional enrollment information is available at connectionsacademy.com/georgia-virtual-school.

Upcoming information sessions in the Atlanta area include: