"Whole Child" Project Unveiled

A painted handprint isn't child's play for this group. In fact, the colorful piece of art acts as a contract full of signatures, a commitment to help build a future for Leon County children.

Loranne Ausley, chairwoman of the Whole Child Project, says, "It doesn't take rocket science to know early development pays off in the long run, and if the foundation is strong the child has what it needs to succeed.

State Rep. Loranne Ausley says four out of 10 children in Leon County live in poverty. Without support, success is almost impossible to reach. That's the premise behind the "Whole Child" project, a brand new initiative involving hundreds of volunteers.

Lauri Dozier says, "It has been heartwarming to see how many people helping to make sure every child in the community gets off to a good start."

It’s a good start that begins at the earliest stage. Take, for instance, baby Bertatnonli. In his first 16 hours of life, he's already become the poster child for this group.

Kristen Bertatnonli, the new mom, says, "It's overwhelming. He's doing well, so we're happy."

They are happy and already a success. With applause, attention, and of course, TV cameras, baby Bertatnonli has become a star even before mom and dad have named him.