Girl, 4, shot while riding in mother's car welcomed back to Chicago Heights day care

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- A 4-year-old girl received a warm welcome back to her Chicago Heights day care after she was grazed by a stray bullet three months ago, which left her blind.

There were well wishes and songs as Joanna Solis spent her first day back at CMT Teach Me How Academy in the southern suburb on Wednesday.

"It's been hard. It's still kind of hard for me to digest it because she can't see or nothing, so I'm taking it day by day," said Sally Solis, Joanna's mother. "I try to hide it from her and not cry."

Affectionately known as JoJo, the energetic preschooler enjoyed a day of celebration at the day care she's attended since she was only months old.

Classmates not only celebrated her October birthday with pizza and cupcakes. The girl who loves to dance also enjoyed some special gifts from new friends while seated in a big princess chair.

"This is a day that we've really been praying and hoping for," said Cheryl Anderson, the day care's owner and co-pastor of Chicago Miracle Temple Church. "I'm a little bit emotional."

JoJo's return follows months of recovery in the hospital after she was shot while sitting in the backseat of her mother's car as they drove to school.

JoJo's mother had been out of work after the incident, and the school hired her as a bilingual interpreter.

The school community is doing whatever they can to help JoJo, including looking for a teacher experienced with working with visually impaired students.

Police are still searching for the shooter responsible for the attack.
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