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Mall of Georgia to celebrate holidays with ‘Santabration’

BUFORD, Ga. -- Santa Claus is coming to town! Mall of Georgia invites local families and friends to ring in the holiday season with its annual Santabration event on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Presented by AutoNation Toyota and Fiat, this spectacular celebration welcomes the arrival of the man in red with plenty of fun and festive activities! Attendees can look forward to a Christmas Parade, performances by the Academy of Performing Arts Superstar Dancers, the 50-foot tree lighting and a special Movies Under the Stars screening of Elf on an impressive 55-foot screen.

Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Come early, grab a spot and experience this jolly holiday tradition with the entire family!

Simon Kidgits Club hosting Halloween parties at Atlanta-area malls

Simon Kidgits Club hosting Halloween parties at Atlanta-area malls

(WXIA) -- Mall of Georgia, Northlake Mall and Town Center at Cobb will offer  Atlanta-area children a safe place to take part in Halloween activities, as the Simon Kidgits Club presents its annual Halloween events! The spook-tacular event schedule for families includes:

Saturday, October 18
Simon Kidgits Club Fall Festival at Mall of Georgia
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, October 25
Simon Kidgits Club Boo Bash at Town Center at Cobb
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday, October 30
Simon Kidgits Club Boo Bash at Northlake Mall
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Simon Malls help families get into the spooky spirit this October

Simon Malls help families get into the spooky spirit this October

ATLANTA -- October is quickly creeping up on the calendar, and Mall of Georgia, Northlake Mall and Town Center at Cobb are gearing up for a fun-filled month of Halloween-themed events. With costume contests, prize giveaways and festive fall activities, guests of all ages are in for a treat! Upcoming Halloween events include the following:

Saturday, October 18:

Dating site caters to those with disabilities

Dating site caters to those with disabilities

BUFORD, Ga. -- Jaclyn Ellis, 30, has joined a new dating website.

It doesn't seem like there's a need for another such site with all the dating arenas that exist for the masses -- connections for Christians, for those over age 50, even for farmers.

But Lauren Ellis, Jaclyn's sister, saw a need.

"It's hard to find somebody like her," Lauren said of her older sister.

Lauren and her fiance Michael Robbins, a web developer, created the dating website Special Bridge. It caters especially to people with disabilities.

"The one thing we ask when they sign up is they have to say what their disability is," Robbins said. "And so we have a feature on the site where you can actually browse by disability, whether it be autism or Down syndrome or dyslexia."

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.

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

(WXIA) -- Kroger customers in metro Atlanta recently showed that they are a charitable bunch.

During the final two weeks in May, shoppers raised $232,000 for the Children's Miracle Network through the Miracle Balloons promotion.

For only $1, a customer could purchase a paper balloon to hang in a local Kroger. All proceeds from the fundraiser went directly to Children's Miracle Network hospitals and health networks, such as Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"Kroger customers consistently show their care for our communities by constantly going above and beyond with their charitable donations," Glynn Jenkins, spokesperson for Kroger's Atlanta division, said in a release. "Through their support of the Miracle Balloons program, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of children."

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

Atlanta Track Club launches scholarship program

(WXIA) -- Youth running groups, rejoice -- the Atlanta Track Club has created a scholarship program just for you.

The Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge will award scholarships to the three organizations that have the most children registered for the 2014 Peachtree Jr. or Lil' Peach Dash.

The first place team will be given a $1,500 scholarship, a $1,250 cash donation from the Atlanta Track Club and $250 in Sports Authority store credit. Two runners-up will each get $750 scholarships, $500 donations and $250 in Sports Authority credit.

"Through the Peachtree Jr. Participant Challenge, we are able to give back to organizations that share our goal of inspiring children to be healthier and more active," Atlanta Track Club Executive Director Rich Kenah said in a release. "Atlanta Track Club is proud to partner with Sports Authority to offer these scholarships to provide extra motivation to keep kids moving."