Westover High School's Literary Team made school history earlier this year with a state AAA championship. Principal William Chunn, as he always does, made sure this team was recognized as highly as any other champs. On Thursday, a "Lunch of Champions" was held at the school with a presentation of rings for team members. Many of the students were not available for the special event because they are now in college, so their parents were presented with the rings. Coaches Selena Bentley and Polly Stadnik are to be commended for their fine work leading the team to defeat some of the state's best private, public and magnet schools. Well done, Westover.

It is not just a notion or a new idea as to how important parent involvement is to a child's education. What is a novel idea is one being used in the Decatur County Board of Education's Parent Involvement Program. Dr. Cheryl Guy, parent involvement coordinator for the system, has likely heard all the possible reasons (aka, excuses) why a parent or guardian does not attend meetings, volunteer with school programs, etc. Focusing on the busy schedules of parents, including work, other children, sports and such, there are now courses online available to help them. Courses available at this time include: Anger Management and Impulse Control, Increasing Student Achievement through Parental involvement, No Child Left Behind and Title I: Parent 411 and Raising Responsible Children. While the courses are not a substitute for other ways to be an active part of a child's education, they are excellent additional tools .

One of Albany Advocacy Resource Center's many programs is the Adult Day Independent Living Program for those with developmental disabilities. Participants are offered instruction in self-help skills, daily living skills, safety, exercise and more. Leisure activities, companionship and socialization through community integration are also key elements of the program. As Disability Awareness Month (October) came to a close, Longhorn Steakhouse on Dawson Road treated eight ARC consumers to lunch at the restaurant. A routine event for most folks, this gift from the local business means much more than simply a full belly. Thank you, Longhorn and manager Lisa Alford.

Any person that makes the turnaround in their life by acknowledging the error of not getting a high school diplomas and then takes the steps needed to correct the error in the form of a GED, deserves recognition. Under the sponsorship of Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul and other jail officials, two inmates have done done just that. Cory Mathis and Anderson Williams now have their GED credentials and a much better chance of success. Currently, 25 men and 15 women inmates are enrolled in the jail's GED program, which receives no local or state money. The cost to take the test, not including the books, is $115. While it is certainly not the responsibility of local residents to pick up the tab for the tests, donations are welcomed and needed. An inmate who leaves jail and gets a job is less likely to offend again, making the community is a safer place to live. The jail's budget will then be reduced, thus requiring fewer tax dollars. Families are often restored and children benefit and on and on go the positive dominoes. Before dismissing the idea, think about this: The cost to house an inmate for one day is around $50. Thumbs up to the new graduates and to Sheriff Sproul.