FSGC tree wins prize at Festival of Trees

Festival of Trees entry

The young children and staff of FSGC’s Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP) got a wonderful holiday surprise last week: Their “Candyland” themed entry into the 35th annual Sheltered Living Festival of Trees was named “Clients’ Favorite” for 2015.

“I know a lot of people like the glitzy, fancy trees so it’s always a huge surprise when we win an award,” said Kara Heckard, ECIP Mental Health Specialist.

The ECIP tree was chosen from a field of more than 60 beautifully decorated trees and wreaths. Inspired by the classic board game, the tree features memorable characters and sweet treats. Each ornament – from the lollipop tree topper to the hand-sewn skirt – was made and decorated by the staff and children from FSGC's therapeutic preschool and kindergarten programs.

Heckard coordinates ECIP’s Festival of Trees entry each year. She said she enjoys the reaction she gets when she tells people who created the tree and ornaments.

“Most are surprised when I tell them the tree was decorated by preschool and kindergarten-age children,” she said. “I’ve had people tell me they look forward to seeing what we come up with each year.”

ECIP is a highly successful program for young children from birth to age six who are experiencing severe problems with their social, behavioral and emotional development. The program works with them to develop skills including following directions, sharing, taking turns and cooperation.

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FSGC’s centralized three-building campus includes comfortable therapy suites, therapeutic preschool classrooms, group therapy rooms, a half-court gym, a full-service cafeteria, an enclosed courtyard-style playground for young children and a fishing pond.