LITHIA — When the first Kids 'R' Kids Learning Academy opened in the Atlanta suburbs, it offered an innovative system of childhood education.
That was 50 years ago, and Kids 'R' Kids seems just as innovative today.
The franchise came to Valrico eight years ago. Now the owners of the Valrico center, across from Lithia Springs Elementary School, are getting ready to open a second location in FishHawk Ranch.
Plans call for the new center, at 5815 Kids Crossing Drive near Stowers Elementary School, to open in June.
Kids 'R' Kids offers educational programs for children from infancy up through 12 years of age. At all levels, Spanish and American Sign Language are incorporated into activities.
For school-age youngsters, after-school programs run until 6 p.m. Drop-off and pick-up is provided for students and is available for students from Stowers, Lithia Springs, Bevis, Alafia, Cimino, FishHawk Creek and Foundation Christian Academy elementary schools. A summer camp program is also available.
Each center has playgrounds, cafes and lending libraries.
"It becomes a second home for a lot of these kids," said Cara Jahnke, the director of operations for the Valrico and FishHawk locations.
Parents can keep an eye on their children throughout the day through a password protected website that allows them to see streaming video from classrooms.
The new facility in FishHawk will have an added design feature: It's environmentally friendly from the ground up, Jahnke said.
"Our shiny metal roof that you can see from a mile away is all recycled aluminum," she said. "Everything in the building is kid-friendly, and it's environmentally friendly whenever possible."
Kids 'R' Kids was founded in Duluth, Ga., in the early 1960s. It now has about 190 locations in 14 states.
Information on programs and enrollment is available by calling (813) 657-6200, or by visiting the website for the new location, krkcirca.com.
Law firm moves to new offices
RIVERVIEW — The law firm of Christmas Spano and Owen PA didn't need much space when it opened its Riverview office three years ago — just enough for one lawyer and a paralegal.
But its local practice has been so successful that the firm has added more lawyers and more staff and has moved into larger quarters. Its new office, at 10101 Bloomingdale Ave., Suite 201 (in the Valrico State Bank building at U.S. 301 S and Bloomingdale Avenue) opened April 1.
Christmas Spano and Owen traces its roots back to 1995, when one of the partners opened a practice in Tallahassee. The firm expanded into Tampa in 2006 and Riverview in 2008.
The firm's Riverview office specializes in such areas as foreclosure defense, foreclosure alternatives and bankruptcy. Christmas Spano and Owen handles everything from medical malpractice to landlord/tenant law from its other offices.
For information, call (813) 677-1112 or visit christmasandspano.com or christmaslawfirm.com.
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