From left, Kids In Distress Board Chairman Alan Tinter, John Ray, and Kids In Distress CEO Mark Dhooge.

(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — As schools nationwide focus on keeping students safe, a donation from Sonitrol of Fort Lauderdale has enhanced security for the dozens of toddlers who learn, play and thrive at the Kids In Distress Preschool.

“Taking a fresh look at security as part of our long-term strategic plan, we asked Sonitrol of Fort Lauderdale President John Ray for advice,” said Kids In Distress (KID) CEO Mark Dhooge. In addition to the 5-star rated KID Preschool, the organization’s five-acre campus in Wilton Manors, Fla., features 10 treatment and intervention buildings which enable Kids In Distress to serve more than 10,000 children and families each year. “John and the Sonitrol team were amazing,” Dhooge added. “They evaluated every aspect of campus security to help our planning process, and then stepped forward to upgrade the Preschool’s access control system.”

This spring Sonitrol donated expertise and advanced technology to link the campus’ existing security cameras and intercoms with the new, state-of-the-art access control equipment the firm provided for the Preschool’s gates. The staff in KID’s main office now can see and speak with anyone who seeks Preschool access at gates on either side of the property. Sonitrol also provided more than 100 electronically coded key fobs, which allow pre-approved parents and guardians to enter.

“Kids In Distress protects and nurtures so many of our community’s most vulnerable children,” said Ray. “This Preschool has a unique role in Broward, and we’re pleased to help ensure it’s a safe and happy place.”

Kids In Distress of Broward and Palm Beach counties is a licensed nationally accredited agency working for prevention of child abuse, preservation of the family, and care and treatment of abused and neglected children. KID partners with corporations, organizations, municipalities, schools, and individuals to provide basic services to the underserved population in South Florida. KID services helped more than 10,000 children and families last year through the signature KID Prevention, Foster Care, Preschool, Family Counseling Clinic and Emergency Residential programs. In 2011, KID and Nova Southeastern University opened the Kid Dental Health Center and NSU’s Eye Care Institute at KID on the KID campus. For more information on Kids In Distress, please visit and on Twitter @kidsindistress1.

One of the nation’s leading electronic security providers, Sonitrol has more than 40 years of experience in school security systems. Locally, Sonitrol of Fort Lauderdale has designed and installed security systems for education clients including St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale and Junior Achievement of South Florida’s massive JA World Huizenga Center in Coconut Creek. Operating in Broward County since 1972, Sonitrol of Fort Lauderdale is a fully-integrated electronic security provider offering Verified Intrusion Detection Systems, Remotely-managed Access Control, Internet-based CCTV systems, and Fire System Installation, Testing, & Monitoring. For information visit