"Pearl Griffin Memorial Latch Key" - the name brings to mind ...

You think of ... maybe a lot of things, or maybe nothing specific comes to mind. Board members pondered that very "what do you think of" question a year ago in their effort to promote the after school childcare program. Realizing the program needed a visual connection, the board is introducing the child care program's first ever logo.

Her finger tracing the happy heart-leafed tree with its key doorway of the logo, board secretary Liza Weckworth explained, "We are so excited to be introducing a visual, a ‘brand' if you will, for our latch key program.

"This is perfect," she said. "It symbolizes growth, home, the hearts say love, there are children playing - everything we wanted to communicate is expressed in this logo.

"Everyone's heard of our program, but this visual makes a connection, or that's what we certainly hope."

Founded in 1983, the Pearl Griffin Memorial Latch Key Program is a non-denominational after school program for Brownwood children from low-income families with a goal of providing working parents with the opportunity for their children to receive quality care.

The program is designed for children 4 years old through the sixth grade.

"Through love and understanding children discover their own worth and develop values such as respect, honesty, and fairness," its brochure states.

Jessica Hardy, the program director, said second generation children are coming through the program now, and the fond memories the parents have carry over to the expectations they have for their children's care.

"There are a lot of feelings, a lot of positive things about latch key," Hardy said, "and the board really wanted a visual that would express those positive ideas."

"Children today are so visual and I can see in years to come, seeing this logo and remembering their time here. We really wanted that standout visual," Weckworth said.

Beria Charles, a graphic designer from Boston, designed the logo at no charge. Weckworth said Charles had worked with her mother, and they had become friends.

"I asked Beria in an email if she would consider designing a logo for us, and if she would do it perhaps as a charitable gift. She asked for information about the program, I sent that to her and she said she would be honored to do this for us," Weckworth said.

Charles submitted several designs and the final logo is a slight blend of several of the offerings.

"We're so excited. A new school year is a new start for everyone, and this says hope, happiness, home," Weckworth said. "The possibilities are endless. As adults we love it. As children we love it."