A Helping Hand

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2006

Teachers and students alike will have some extra help on hand with the grand opening of Hand-N-Hand, an education and resource center located at 12 West Third Street, across from the Luverne Post Office.

Lisa Kirkland of the Grady Community is the owner. The store officially opened June 12.

&#8220We are very excited about being here, and we have many different activities planned for the children as well as the adults,” Kirkland said.

Kirkland graduated from Auburn University Montgomery in 1987 with a Bachelor's degree in Special Education. In the fall of 1994, she started teaching at Dozier Elementary School in Montgomery County. Beginning in August, she will transfer to Brewbaker Junior High School.

She currently works with mentally and physically challenged children in the Montgomery County Public School System. Prior to teaching special needs children, Kirkland had a day care center in Monroe County. She has been in the education field for 21 years.

&#8220Hand-N-Hand actually started in August of 2004,” she said. &#8220It was created out of a service to teachers who wanted to make games and bulletin boards for their classrooms. I loved coloring and cutting, and teachers loved my finished products, so I began to sell them. Therefore, it is from my hand to yours,” she added.

Kirkland said that she will also be able to order supplies for teachers and for childcare providers. In addition, she can help home educators with lesson plans, curriculums and supplemental materials.

She will also provide classes and workshops not only for educators, but also for parents and children. Presently, she has the &#8220Reading Rainbow Story Hour” each Monday from 10 a.m until 11 a.m. It is for children ages three to eight and costs $2 per child. Each week, the group will study a different theme, such as farm animals and ocean life. The story hour classes end August 7.

Kirkland said that she will also offer scrap booking classes on the second Saturday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $3, and it includes the materials to make two pages. July's theme is &#8220The Wisdom of Children.”

In addition to classes for daycare providers, Kirkland will also provide teachers with &#8220classroom make-over” help, with new bulletin board ideas or classroom study centers. The cost is $20 for two visits of one hour each.

The sales associates at Hand-N-Hand are Tyler Burger and Linda Owens, who will also be available to help parents, teachers and children.

&#8220I hope to have a website for the store by 2007,” Kirkland said.

For more information about Hand-N-Hand and all of the classes and activities offered, please call 651-1292 or send an email to lck141@hotmail.com.