Here’s a cookbook that will make you feel good inside — and not just because of all the delicious recipes it features.

After perusing through a recently purchased cookbook of a friend, Carolyn Shelton just had to have one of her own.

“I love to cook and the recipes were so good,” Shelton said. “But what really got my attention was the cause behind the cookbook.”

“Down Right Delicious” is a unique combination of recipes that reflects the diversity of the families, board, support group and others affiliated with The Rise Program. Located on the University of Alabama campus, the program provides the highest quality of early childhood education services to children with developmental disabilities, as well as children without disabilities.

“I worked for Hope Village for three years, so knowing that proceeds from the sale of this cookbook would benefit children with special needs really touched my heart,” Shelton said.

She contacted the school and not only purchased a copy for herself, but also decided to sell them at her business, Carolyn’s Frames and Gifts.

“I’m not getting anything from selling them,” Shelton said. “Except the good feeling of knowing that I’m helping these children.”

About Rise

Founded in 1974, the Rise Program began as a national demonstration program for children up to 5 years of age with physical disabilities. Rise was one of the first of 150 early intervention programs funded by the U.S. Office of Health, Education and Welfare.

Located on the campus of the University of Alabama, the program is set in the Stallings Center, a state-of-the-art building named in honor of Gene Stallings, former head football coach at the University of Alabama, and his family.

Stallings’ son, Johnny, was born with Down’s Syndrome in 1962. Having little or no support when Johnny was born, Stallings and his wife, Ruth Ann, appreciated the availability of the services provided by the Rise Program.

In three decades, the program has grown from its first classroom serving six children, to a nationally acclaimed facility serving 80 children each year. Rise works with colleges, universities and community-based agencies to design the most effective outreach and instruction programs for children with developmental disabilities as well as those without disabilities.

Rise has served thousands of children and their families. Many of the first graduates have going on to graduate from college and/or be employed in the community. Ninety percent of the children who graduate from Rise enter regular kindergarten programs.

The program is currently funded through a combination of support from the university, state contracts and grants, interagency agreements, fund-raisers and private donors.

Down home cooking

The frame and gift shop is the only Meridian business selling the cookbook, which includes recipes for appetizers and beverages, soups and salads, vegetables and side dishes, main dishes, breads and rolls, desserts, cookies and candy and “this and that.”

“It has a little bit of everything,” Shelton said. “The Chicken Tetrazzini recipe was suggested to me and it really is good.”

In addition to recipes collected from friends and relatives throughout Alabama, Mississippi and other locales, “Down Right Delicious” also includes: cooking tips, a section on herbs and spices, hints for baking breads and desserts as well as buying and cooking vegetables and fruits, illustrations on napkin-folding, a measurements and substitutions guide, a equivalency chart and microwave hints.

Sale of the cookbook has been brisk.

“I began selling them last week and all 12 of the ones I had are gone,” Shelton said. “I’ve received 24 more and I’m sure they also will sell quickly. It’s really a good cookbook and a worthwhile cause.”

• For more information about The Rise Program, visit the Web site

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