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Thumbs Up! - Nov. 18, 2013

See who deserves a thumbs up this week.

The main branch of any public library system is an important part of each and every community. The Central Branch of the Dougherty County Public Library System closed for renovations a year ago and the work is moving along nicely. Already a great facility, the improvements are certainly something to look forward to. Meanwhile, patrons have been patient and the temporary location on Jackson Street stays busy, as do all the branches. An interim director for the system has been in place with a search for a permanent director. Someone woke up and realized the best candidate for the position was literally right under the county’s nose. Pauline Abidde, by a unanimous vote of the Library Board, has stepped out of the interim title to the director’s shoes. Abidde has 30 years of experience in her field right here in the Dougherty County. Congratulations to Abidde and, as fans of the written word, we look forward to the ‘new’ library opening in early 2014.

Many will agree that the stores have jumped the gun with all the Christmas merchandise. That may be so but for those striving to help others have a good Christmas, it takes a lot of early and diligent planning. Liberty House, a safe haven for women and children who have been used and abused, wants the families they serve to not be forgotten. A program called Adopt a Family is not about the basic needs of the household, whether in a shelter or in a home of their own. The idea is for the victims to wake up Christmas morning and have gifts, things they want and have asked for, under the tree. Three to five gifts for each child, that’s not much to ask. If you can and are willing to help, it just might be the best Christmas ever…for you and the children. Call (229) 439-7094 for more information.

While bullying among children has been around forever, it seems to have gotten worse in recent years. Kids model what they see at home, on television, at the movies and in their neighborhoods. Throw in social media and it has become easier and easier to become a bully. “Be a Friend First” is an anti-bullying program brought into the Dougherty County School system by local Girl Scouts. At a pilot program last year at Southside Middle School, girls were taught about other ways of solving problems and that they can be a part of the bullying solution. This school year the program was expanded to include Robert A. Cross Middle Magnet School and Merry Acres Middle School. The young ladies have learned just how devastating bullying can be and that is reason enough to call it a successful program. Thanks to all involved.

In operation since 1995, the Lee County Transitional Learning Center (TLC) serves students in grades 3-12 who have been unsuccessful in a regular classroom setting. Students are referred by the Lee County schools, tribunals or even the court system. One of the county’s growing list of celebrities will take time out to help raise funds for the center. Buster Posey will again be the special guest for the fourth annual “Steak a Claim for Education” on November 21 in the south wing of Lee County Middle School West.. Fifty (and only 50) pre-event tickets will be sold for a meet and greet autograph session. General admission tickets are also available to hear Posey speak and the opportunity to bid on auction items. Raffle tickets will be available with 25 lucky winners chosen for an autograph session. Regardless of the ticket, there will be a two-item limit on autographs. For more details, call (229)903-2130.