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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Following discussion at Tuesday’s Children’s Policy Council meeting, the group is continuing to make plans for this year’s College/Career Day to be held at the high school.
The meeting was held both in person and via Zoom, with 15 attendees in person and seven attending via Zoom. Elected officials present for the meeting were Superintendent of Education David Stover Jr. and Sheriff Michael Howell.
In discussing College/Career Day with Stover, he suggested potentially holding the event on November 12. Those who are unable to attend the event in person would be welcome to submit videos for their company, college, or agency.
Stover suggested they have as many attend in person as possible, but that they could have a blended approach to it this year because of COVID-19 concerns. The blended approach would allow for some to participate in person while others would have videos to represent their organization.
During discussion, it was agreed that the sooner they can finalize the date and get the word out, the better it will be. Stover said that he would get the information to Marty Rittmann, a volunteer with the Children’s Policy Council, so that she could put a flyer together to help promote the event.
Stover said that he should be able to have the date finalized within the next week or so, but that for now November 12 could serve as the tentative date. The timing for College/Career Day is also to be determined.
Brittany Hogan with Empowered to Conquer asked about reusing the videos that were used for last year’s College/Career Day, when the event was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hogan explained that she has the videos available via YouTube links so she could easily share those to be utilized again this year. The group agreed that would be a good idea and also briefly discussed other ideas for new interview videos and ways to combine the video portion of the event with the in-person sessions.
In other business, Hogan also talked to the Children’s Policy Council with a brief presentation about Empowered to Conquer, a not-for-profit organization she began 12 years ago, and the organization’s Limitless Groups program.
She mentioned career development and how Limitless Groups can assist in that area, as well as how the program can help students in making plans for after they graduate high school. The curriculum-based program, which is for grades 9-12, is a semester long and helps equip students for success both during and after high school.
Hogan explained that lessons are done on Wednesdays, typically twice a month, and that the program is held from 11:45 to 12:45. She said they are looking for more volunteers who will go to the school and help facilitate the lessons for Limitless Groups.
She added that those interested do not have to volunteer for every session, just as they are able to help. She said they can select the date or dates they would like to volunteer when they sign up to participate.
Anyone wishing to sign up to volunteer with Limitless Groups at Central High School Coosa County can do so online at empoweredtoconquer.org/volunteer. For more information, contact Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other business, the CPC revisited the topic of a county resource guide, which was discussed some at last month’s meeting.
Rittmann provided meeting attendees with a link to the 211 resource guide, which is www.211connectsalabama.org. She asked everyone to check out the information and resources shown on the 211 site and update their agency’s listings if needed.
She further encouraged everyone to review their own agency and agencies they know to help verify and update the information online. She said they can also add to the 211 resource guide as needed.
In further discussion, Rittmann said the 211 guide is a good place to start in working on a resource guide specifically for Coosa County.
Also during the meeting, Rittmann showed the group the blue “Coosa County Information Center” signs and encouraged people to stop in at places where they see those signs, such as the Coosa County Extension Office and Rockford Town Hall.
She explained that places with those signs will have helpful and valuable information about the county, including a new map designed specifically for the East Alabama region. The back of that map also showcases each county in the region and highlights interesting sites in each county that people can visit while in the area.
With the business portion of the meeting finished, the floor was turned over for individuals to share updates and information for their respective agencies.
Superintendent Stover reminded everyone that the school system’s homecoming parade and football game is being held today.
He also mentioned issues the school system is facing, including discipline issues, regarding youths vaping, or using e-cigarettes. He said that he is working with Extension Office Coordinator Sharon Haynes and that they will be offering a class about vaping and the dangers of it.
Additionally, he reported that the school system’s COVID-19 numbers are staying relatively low, even though the county numbers are still somewhat high, and that they are doing the best they can while trying to keep everyone safe.
Spencer Hardy briefly told everyone about the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation & Development Council, or RC&D Council, and the grants that it offers, including education grants. He said that people can apply for grants from May through July, encouraging agencies to check into that opportunity next time grant applications are open.
Angela Poole with Goodwater Head Start said that she still has openings for students who are 3 to 4 years old. She stated that she needs three more children in the program in order to be at full capacity.
She encouraged everyone to help get the word out about the Head Start program in Goodwater to help fill those vacancies.
Rockford Town Clerk Jennifer Tindall announced that Rockford’s trick-or-treat event will be held Saturday, October 30, from 5-8 p.m. in downtown Rockford, along U.S. Highway 231.
She said individuals and others; including agencies, churches, businesses, and other organizations; can decorate vehicles or tables for the occasion. Participants can then hand out candy from their table or vehicle for trick-or-treaters.
For more information on the Rockford event, contact Tindall at Town Hall at 256-377-4911.
The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Coosa County Children’s Policy Council will be held at 12 p.m. October 12.