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Royal enriches children’s lives

Judith Royal spoke of miracles Sunday afternoon as she addressed those gathered for a reception in her honor at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

“Miracles don’t take place by themselves,” she said. “The works done by volunteers help make miracles happen.”

Royal is retiring as director of Denton Christian Preschool, and after 30 years of service, she knows about miracles and the dedicated volunteers who make them possible.

Denton Christian Preschool, a United Way of Denton County partner agency, was founded in 1970 by a group of Denton residents representing 17 churches who shared a common goal — providing quality early education for at-risk children.

As Royal told about 70 well-wishers at Sunday’s reception, there are children who lack the resources needed to live the best life possible, and sometimes, it takes the time and commitment of a stranger to make a child’s life the best it can be.

That’s been the mission of Denton Christian Preschool since its inception, and for the last three decades, Royal has led the professionals and volunteers who have sustained a nurturing environment and support system for 3- and 4-year-olds who might not be able to succeed in public school without early intervention.

“She has enriched the lives of so many children in need,” Carol Hagen, Denton Area Association for the Education of Young Children representative, said on Sunday.

Hagen announced that the Judith Royal Award for outstanding service to young children in Denton County has been established in Royal’s honor and added that Royal and the preschool are a tremendous help to children as they move on to public schools.

“But we all benefit by living in a Denton community made stronger by Judy’s efforts,” she said.

We agree.

Officials estimate that more than 1,000 youngsters have benefited from their time at Denton Christian Preschool.

It would be difficult to calculate how much the community has gained as a result of the school and its programs, but we believe the impact has been substantial, and we also believe that Royal deserves a lot of credit for her dedication and hard work through the years.

We wish her well as she begins her retirement, and we offer our thanks for all she has done to serve our children and to show us what can be accomplished by dedicated educators and volunteers who believe that miracles can happen.

Because of them, our world is a better place to be.