Dougherty School System Notebook - Sept. 8, 2013

Sherwood Acres Receives Active Schools Acceleration Grant

Sherwood Acres Elementary School was recently awarded a $1,000 grant from the Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP). The purpose of the grant is to ensure that students become more physically active throughout their school day. Academic studies show that active students do better. Beyond the health and fitness benefits, physical activity enhances concentration and attention. It also improves attendance and academic performance.

First Lady Michelle Obama helped launch ASAP’s Acceleration Grants in collaboration with her “Let’s Move! Active Schools” initiative, a campaign designed to bring national attention to the issue of childhood obesity. Sherwood Acres plans to use the grant money to start a 100 Mile Club.

Riggins Wins Scholarship in Essay Contest

Westover Comprehensive High School senior Dominique Riggins was recently selected as the third place winner of the 2013 Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Spouses Essay Contest. To be eligible for the CBC Spouses Education Scholarship, applicants must be preparing to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree full-time or be a current full-time student in good academic standing at an accredited college or university, have a minimum 2.5 GPA, exhibit leadership ability, and participate in community service activities.

Of all the essays submitted, Dominique’s was judged to be one of the most exemplary. His scholarship award of $500 will be presented in September at the Congressional Black Caucus Forum during the CBCF Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.

Chamber of Commerce, Porterfield Church Visits Live Oak

Several members of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee recently visited Live Oak Elementary School to become familiar with the environment and focus in the system’s elementary schools. Committee chairman Ron Wallace arranged the tour and shared that he hopes to engage and enlarge chamber interest in what is happening within the public schools in Dougherty County.

Live Oak principal Laytona Stephenson led the group through classrooms, computer labs, the media center, gym, and cafeteria. She responded to questions about preparing students to grow academically while progressing through elementary grades. Committee members attending the visit were Chandu Kuntawala, Dana Wallace and Latressa Perryman. In appreciation for the interest show by chamber officials, public information director R. D. Harter said, “The best way to create a better informed parent and public is to invite them into our schools to see the reality of our world. It is always refreshing to receive feedback from adults about our schools from a first-hand experience inside.”

Harter offered to arrange future visits to all of the systems 23 schools. Porterfield United Methodist, which donated 65 backpacks full of school supplies to some students Partners with Live Oak.

Bethel AME Church Donates to Alice Coachman Elementary

Sheila Butler and Sandra Webb from Bethel AME Church recently presented Alice Coachman principal Dr. Gail Solomon with school supplies and uniforms to help students whose families may not be able to provide the necessary items for school. Bethel AME, led by Rev. Ernest Davis, Jr., has made it a practice to donate to three schools at the beginning of each school year. This year Pastor Davis and his congregation chose Alice Coachman, Jackson Heights, and Turner Elementary Schools to receive donations.

Parent Volunteers Plan Turner Elementary School Garden

Several parent volunteers met recently to plan the proposed Turner Elementary School Garden. Students and volunteers will work together to grow vegetables for healthy meal choices from the garden. Ground breaking and preparation will take place in September with planting of collards, cabbages, broccoli, spinach, sweet mint, and radishes taking place in October.

The Turner garden project is sponsored by the Turner Elementary School-Based Health Clinic, The American Heart Association, Phoebe Hospital Community Vision, Dougherty County School System Child Nutrition Services, Southwest Georgia Project, and Dougherty County Extension Services. Faculty advisers for the “brain boosting, heart healthy harvest from our school garden project” are Khadijah Ali, SenCarda Jordan, and Cassandra Ransom.