Bright child needs a challenge

Friday, December 8, 2006

Andrea's mom, Stella, is proud of her children, who make good grades and are caring individuals. It makes her sad that only 9-year-old Andrea will receive gifts this year because of the generosity of Toybox givers. The other children, 14 and 15, understand that Stella's finances are spread thin and that they'll have to do without.

Stella works as a CNA at a local nursing home where she receives an average wage that must provide for the four of them since she and her husband separated seven years ago.

It's hard for Stella to stay upbeat in December because it's also the month two of her children celebrate birthdays.

Stella's biggest concern is hoping her children will be pleased with what she is able to do.

Andrea's hobbies include reading and writing. "She puts a lot of thought into her stories," said her mother. A journal to write down her thoughts would help her reinforce skills she's excelled in already. Her mother said she's exploring cursive writing and practicing those lessons in a special book will help build confidence.

Encouraging this young girl's strengths at such an impressionable age is an advantage to her classmates and peers as well. Andrea's teachers know of her abilities and have recruited her to be a classroom tutor. "She also helps her friends when they have trouble with their homework," Stella said.

Stella was hesitant to ask for an interactive educational toy because she knows how costly they are. Andrea has played with the educational learning toys her siblings had from when they were her age, but she's surpassed the challenges they offer. An individual who may wish to consider this type of toy might like to know that Andrea also excels in math and is a member of the Math Club at school.

Andrea likes reading Judy Blume books and is enjoying "Charlotte's Web" with the rest of her class.

This little girl would also love a baby doll (black or white), a Bratz doll or purse.

For those interested in contributing to the Toybox and Christmas for the Elderly campaigns, new toys and gifts may be delivered to the Southeast Missourian office or area locations. Cash contributions are also welcome. All contributions are tax-deductible and may be mailed separately to Toybox Trust, P.O. Box 4, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0004, or Christmas for the Elderly, P.O. Box 4, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0004.

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