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DFCS tried to take kids away months before fatal fire

DFCS tried to take kids away months before fatal fire

DECATUR, GA (WXIA) – New information emerged Wednesday in the fatal fire that left three young brothers dead, and their mother facing charges.

A state Department of Family and Children's Services case manager tried to take all five children from their mother this past April and put them in foster care, but a judge refused.

Now, three of the five children are dead and the mother is facing charges of felony murder and cruelty to children.

11Alive News obtained the DFCS case file on Rockell Coleman and her five young boys through Georgia's open records law.

Keeping kids’ minds sharp over winter break

Keeping kids’ minds sharp over winter break

By Megan Nellen, Lower School Principal at The Walker School

1. Community Service: Use the break to plan community service ideas for the coming year. Kids can write flyers and notes asking neighbors to save and donate any holiday décor they plan on tossing out to be used next year for a family without a tree or decorations. Children of all ages can help make and deliver sandwiches for a homeless mission or shelter or make cards and pictures for a local nursing home.

2. Reuse, Recycle, Entertain: Collect leftover boxes, ribbons and paper and have your kids use them to build a robot or make a game. Each year at The Walker School second graders use cardboard to make arcade games.

Personal Safety Tips

Personal Safety Tips

By Greg Norred, CEO, Norred & Associates

Over the course of your life, the chances of being the victim of a crime are at least one in three, higher if you live in a large city, and higher still if you’re a woman. The criminal’s objective is to maximize gain and minimize risk, and he’ll usually pick the easiest target with the most to offer. Given these odds, it pays to take precautions by following some basic safety rules:

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:

All About Developmental Disabilities to hold workshop series on sexuality

All About Developmental Disabilities to hold workshop series on sexuality

DECATUR, Ga. -- This fall, All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) will host a four-part workshop series on sexuality and developmental disabilities. Parents and adults with developmental disabilities will learn about sexuality, how parents can support their child’s sexual behavior and romantic relationships, and how to handle sex on the Internet and in other media.

The sessions will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 26, Sept. 23, Oct. 21 and Nov. 18. All sessions will be held at AADD’s Family Support Center, 125 Clairemont Avenue Suite 300, Decatur. The cost is $10 per session.

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.

Piccadilly giving free meals to kids who read

Piccadilly giving free meals to kids who read

(WXIA) -- Piccadilly Cafeteria is encouraging children to read over the summer.

The restaurant chain's Back to Books program provides participants with free kids meals for completing reading logs of 10 books. Logs are available at all locations.

Piccadilly is also collecting $1 donations for Reading is Fundamental, the nation's largest children's literacy program. Customers who give will have their names displayed on a wall of their local restaurant.

Visit piccadilly.com for more information and to find your nearest location.