By Melissa Waites

The North Jefferson News




The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs is holding a benefit concert at the North Gardendale Baptist Church.

The Bell Center is a nonprofit organization that strives to better the lives of children from birth to 3 years of age who are at risk for developmental delay, according to the center’s Web site.

For more than 20 years, The Bell Center has provided treatment for children with special needs through its therapy programs.

The program has provided results for more than 600 children who have participated since its development.

As soon as a child is diagnosed, the Bell Center offers treatment within a few days or weeks after birth.

Staff members and volunteers work together to help parents of newly diagnosed children not only cope with the news but also provide them with information about the condition and develop optimism for the future.

The Bell Center has specially designed programs that serve to promote growth in motor skills, language, cognition, self-help and play skills.

Each child is evaluated annually and goals are specifically designed according to each child’s needs.

Carefully trained volunteers carry out these individually created programs under the close supervision of a fully qualified professional staff.

This staff includes physical and occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, special educators, and a nutritionist.

The concert is to help raise money for a new building for the center.

“The Bell Center is growing and I wanted to help raise money to help more children,” said Tonya Burford whose 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter has been attending The Bell Center two days a week since she was nine months old.

Burford’s daughter has 22q11 deletion (velocardiofacial) syndrome and has undergone numerous surgeries.

Burford found out about The Bell Center from her older daughter’s classmates.

“They’ve been a blessing to us. They have helped us out a lot,” Burford said.

The benefit concert is set to take place on June 14 at 6 p.m.

Local bands Coming of Age, Cool Rain and Nine Lashes will be playing.

Each band will play for 45 minutes and time will be allowed in between shows for equipment changes.

The concert is expected to last about three hours.

Plans are still underway.

“We are in the process of trying to get sponsors,” said Burford.

There will also be a table set up at the concert for anyone interested in signing up for The Bell Center’s Partners in Training (PIT) marathon that takes place each year.

“Each person sponsors a child and is in charge of raising money for the child they are running for,” said Burford.

The cost to attend the concert is $5.

Any additional donations are welcome to assist the fund.

Eighty percent of the proceeds will go to The Bell Center’s building fund.

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