By Dawn Krebs
FORT PIERCE -- The Fort Pierce city commission dais looked a bit more colorful during the April 1 meeting.
Row after row of colorful hands, carefully outlined, cut and decorated by children that live in St. Lucie County, hung in long strands from the dais.
Tony Loupe, CEO of the Early Learning Coalition of St. Lucie County, and Kimberly Smith, and early learning resource specialist attending the city commission meeting to thank the city for allowing the hands to be displayed.
"With Kimberly's help and the help of (city employee) Anne Satterlee, we were able to get these hands organized," he said. "All these hands are made from children within our community, and the child care centers are listed above the artwork."
Not only will St. Lucie County's children have their hands hung locally, the artwork will also be taken to Tallahassee to be displayed.
Called the hanging of the hands, it's been going on for 17 years on a state level, where the hand outlines are taken to Tallahassee to be hung in the capitol rotunda.
"There's tens of thousands of hands there," Mr. Loupe told the city commission. "It's just an awesome sight to see."
The hands represent a grassroots program to recognize Children's week, which ran from April 6 through April 12.
To kick off the week, a fun fair was held on April 6 at the park on Virginia Avenue, and included several events that families could do together.
The Early Learning Coalition subsidizes childcare for the working poor families, has school readiness and voluntary preschool programs, and also has a father-child program. The office is located at 810 South Sixth St. in Fort Pierce.
For more information about the coalition and its programs, call (772) 595-6363 or go to www.elcslc.org.