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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
During its monthly meeting last Tuesday afternoon, the Coosa County Children’s Policy Council primarily discussed school news and upcoming events, as well as the organization’s annual needs assessment.
The meeting had eight participants via Zoom and 11 attending the meeting in person, with Superintendent of Education David Stover being the only elected official present.
Maressa Ware, Parent Teacher Organization president for both Central Elementary and Central High schools, provided updates on PTO activities and goals.
She shared that the PTO wants to revamp the flower pots in front of the schools. She added that they have reached out to Home Depot and were awaiting a response as of last week’s meeting.
Now that springtime has arrived, Ware also announced that they want to revamp the high school garden, as well. She said they plan to have edible vegetables, herbs and more.
She added that they may start on a smaller scale this year and then grow the garden over time, saying that they “want it to be a garden the students can be proud of.” They already have raised beds and some vegetable plants.
Ware said they had already begun the project to some extent, but the PTO is taking donated items for the garden, including decorations, soil, bird feeders, benches, lighting, and more.
There is no deadline for when donations need to be turned in, and monetary donations will also be accepted for the high school garden project. Donations can be taken to the school, or those interested in donating can contact Ware or the school for more information.
Ware also said that the PTO appreciates everyone who participated in the school Color Run, stating that they had 46 participants. She said that they plan to do the event again next year and that they want to build on it.
In other school news, School Resource Officer Bradgel Moon and Extension Coordinator Sharon Haynes reported that the high school’s “Be You for You” program was going smoothly as of that time. The after-school program took place last week, with the reveal day following the program being held yesterday, April 21.
They reported that they had seven young women participate this year, and they will be ambassadors for the high school. The program is expected to return again next year.
Additionally, Brittany Hogan with Empowered to Conquer shared information on the mentoring program, with an interest meeting scheduled to be held at 9 a.m. May 21. More details will be forthcoming regarding that program.
Also, Extension Coordinator Haynes reviewed information relating to the school system’s summer program for June, with students being transported from the school campus to Poplar Point Camp in Hanover for various activities and education opportunities.
That summer program will take place every week in June for Mondays through Thursdays, with the BridgeWays day camp being available on Fridays during that time. The BridgeWays day camp will then be available for full weeks during July through school returning to session in August.
The Extension Office also provided an update on the Move Alabama and Move Coosa County programs, saying that they will not know about the exact amount of participation until the forms are turned in at the end of the program.
Participants were encouraged to join the challenge, which ends April 30, and to help get the word out to others. Participants who complete 15 of the 20 listed activities on the form and return their completed forms will be eligible to receive prizes.
Additionally, Lynne Anne Castleberry, regional BridgeWays director for Coosa County, shared information regarding Rockford’s upcoming Spring Fling, to be held May 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. She said that last year’s event was held in June, but that it went well.
She had applications available for those who wished to sign up for a vendor space. She reported that there was a $25 vendor fee for businesses and that they were free for nonprofit agencies.
Marty Rittmann, Children’s Policy Council coordinator and volunteer, also reviewed he first steps for the annual needs assessment. She reviewed some of the CPC laws, especially pertaining to who is supposed to be a member and what they are supposed to do.
Rittmann also mentioned that the Coosa County CPC does better than most CPCs, especially of their size, in having people attending meetings.
She also reviewed the organization’s duties and responsibilities, adding that they do a “pretty good job” of getting everything done.
She said that the CPC will start next month on working on the needs assessment for this year. She provided copies of the 2020 assessment for review and said that they will need to update the membership list and also review their accomplishments for the year to help promote what they are doing.
During discussion it was asked if the County Commission fully understands its involvement with the CPC, particularly relating to the laws about who is to be involved and included. The importance of engagement with the County Commission was also mentioned.
As such, it was decided that some CPC representatives would attend the next County Commission meeting to help present information relating to CPC and keep commissioners up to date on the organization.
The group was also encouraged to invite others to attend the monthly CPC meetings, with agencies providing services to area youth and partnering with other agencies to make connections.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Children’s Policy Council will be held at 12 p.m. May 10 at the E-911 building in Rockford.