Raising the Bar
Through six years of effective collaboration, Georgia County has offered a safe, nurturing school environment which empowers and cherishes all students and their families to strive to become community leaders. In 2010, Georgia County received the Keystone Award for meeting Adequate Yearly Progress for three consecutive years. The school moved from 33.8% Advanced and Proficient in Reading in 2006 to 46% in 2010 and from 50.9% Advanced and Proficient in Math in 2006 to 65% in 2010. They also made AYP in the 2010-2011 school year.
Food Program to Address Student Hunger
Georgia Collaborative is teaming up with the local school system and partners to kick off a Backpack Food for Kids program at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year in an effort to address hunger insecurity issues for children in the community. According to Georgia Collaborative, about 73 percent of Georgia County students receive food assistance through the school system. For a number of those students, it is not unusual to not eat at all between the time they leave school Friday afternoon and the time they return to school Monday morning. The backpack program, which will be run entirely by volunteers, will buy non-perishable food items in bulk and distribute them discreetly every Friday to those children who have been identified by teachers and counselors as the most needy, pending parents’ approval. “We’ll have to start small, with one or two schools, and build on that,” said Walker about the program. “This is a first step for us, and we have to take it one day at a time.”
While we hope to generate enough funds between now and the beginning of next school year to get the program up and running, the total amount needed will depend on the number of students served. About $250 can feed a student over the weekend throughout the school year, he said. Funds may come from a number of small grants and tax-deductible donations from members of the community. In addition, PhoneGuard, Inc. — a provider of mobile applications software — will contribute a portion of the sales of a $20/year application that, among other features, locks down the keyboard of a cell phone once a vehicle reaches 10 mph, thus preventing the driver from emailing, texting or surfing the Internet while driving. Tackling the hunger among the youth is crucial.
Donations to the program can be made out to Georgia Collaborative, P.O. Box XXX, XXXX GA 30XXX. For additional information on the Backpack Food for Kids program, call 555-777-0000, email [email protected] or visit www.georigiacollaborative.com.