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December 16, 2012

WISH BOOK: Compton family working to get back under one roof

JEFFERSONVILLE — Carol Compton and her three children are a family that are reconnecting and rededicating themselves to one another.

Family members, who live separately, were chosen as one of this year’s Wish Book families. Michael, 15, and Robin, 12, are living at Childplace in Jeffersonville, while Matthew, 10, lives in foster care. And Carol, who is living in Jeffersonville, is trying to find a place to get the family under one roof again.

That effort is what prompted Carol’s caseworker Samantha Kinman — who has been working with Carol for about five months — to nominate the family for the Christmas charity program.

“I feel like she works very hard for herself and for her kids,” Kinman said of Carol. “She’s constantly on the move. I feel like she needed and deserved for that to be recognized by someone.”

Carol was honored, but initially reluctant.

“I said there’s got to be somebody that’s more needy,” she said getting choked up. “[Kinman] said it’s just for people that need help. It’s so unreal that people are willing to help.”

FAMILY UNIT

The family ended up getting placed in separate homes due to several factors. One of the issues was that Carol said she was in an unhealthy relationship.

“It was holding me back because I didn’t like life,” she said. “I didn’t like being home. It was constant fights. [There was] no teamwork at all. I think we all just pretty much gave up.

“There were behavior issues [with her kids]. One thing led to another until things ended up where they are. [But] you realize you can’t give up.”

And it’s not just Carol that is working to be a family unit again.

“I think they realize it’s on them too,” she said of her kids. “You can tell them a million times that what you do causes an effect for everyone. I think they realize that now.”

Robin said the relationship with her older brother has improved since moving into Childplace.

“It’s better than we used to [be], because me and [Michael] never actually got along,” she said. “Every time we’d come home we’d argue and fight. Now we’re able to sit together.”

“And they rely on each other more now,” Carol interjected.

It was clear after a few moments that Michael — while more reserved than his energetic sister and more talkative than a quiet Matthew — acts as a protector to his younger siblings.

He added that he tries to help his mom as much as he can.

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Students who attended the Renaissance Academy's Culture Camp lead other students in an exercise, brainstorming thoughts, fears and opinions of the new learning style and school. The Academy is largely based on projects, working in groups and hands-on education.

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