By Deborah Decker, EKU Manchester

Tonya Holland is a special education teacher at Clay County Middle School. She betters the community by lifting the hearts and spirits of her students. She wants her students know that she cares for them. Holland tells them that they can learn and overcome anything they set their mind to. She makes sure they know that it's okay not to know something, but it's never okay not to try.

Holland heard about the struggles that kids were having and the need for after school care in the community. She knew she wanted to help, but was unsure how. After years of prayer and research, an opportunity came along.  She was offered a grant for preschool services through City of Hope Church. Since then, Holland has been working hard to run the A to Z Early Learning Center, while still working at the middle school. The A to Z Early Learning Center has allowed Holland to be able to touch the lives of many young kids, and provide safe, affordable, high quality child care to the children and families in Clay County.