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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:

PROBE College Fair coming to Kennesaw

PROBE College Fair coming to Kennesaw

KENNESAW, Ga. -- The popular PROBE College Fair will stop in Cobb County next week, giving high school students an opportunity to speak directly to representatives from their favorite colleges and universities.

The fair will be Thursday, Sept. 25 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Town Center at Cobb in Kennesaw.

A number of schools in several states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas, will be represented. See a complete list of participating colleges.

Learn more and register to attend the fair at gaprobe.org.

Simon KidGits Club to host interactive 'Julius Jr.' experience

Simon KidGits Club to host interactive 'Julius Jr.' experience

KENNESAW, Ga. -- Simon, a global leader in retail real estate, is teaming up with the hit preschool series Julius Jr. to host a interactive brand experience for members of its Simon Kidgits Club scheduled to be held at Simon malls across the country.

The television series, which airs on Nick Jr. in the U.S., follows Julius Jr. and his playful friends who use equal doses of imagination and inventive spirit to help each other overcome challenges big and small – teaching kids that the best inventions are the ones that help their friends.

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."

Local restaurants make 5 Make-a-Wish dreams come true

Local restaurants make 5 Make-a-Wish dreams come true

(WXIA) -- Diners at two metro Atlanta-based restaurant chains had a hand in making wishes come true for five very special children.

Throughout March and April, J. Christopher's and Reveille Café customers donated more than $47,000 to the Make-a-Wish organizations in Georgia and Middle Tennessee. Make-a-Wish grants surprises to children living with life-threatening medical conditions.

Thanks to the diners' generosity, Make-a-Wish was able to send five kids on trips of a lifetime:

Andrea, age 3
Hematologic (blood) disorder
Andrea got to go to Disney World and meet her idols -- Mickey and Minnie; Peter Pan and Tinkerbell; Pluto and Goofy.

Bryce, age 4
Wilms' tumor (kidney cancer)
Bryce got to fly on a plane to Disney World, ride the rides and meet Mickey Mouse.

Elijah, age 8
Respiratory condition
Elijah took an "absolutely awesome" trip to Disney World.

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."