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50 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up' to promote tolerance

50 Ga. schools 'Mix It Up' to promote tolerance

ATLANTA -- Fifty schools in Georgia were represented at this year's Mix It Up at Lunch Day.

The event, which is part of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project, encourages children to step outside their comfort zones and sit with someone new at lunch.

"When people step out of their cliques and get to know someone, they realize just how much they have in common," Teaching Tolerance director Maureen Costello said in a statement. "Mix It Up is a positive step that can help create schools where students see each other as individuals and not just as members of a separate group."

Nearly 3,000 schools across the country took part in Mix It Up at Lunch Day on Oct. 30.

Participating Georgia schools include:

Galloway School
North Atlanta HS
School of Health Sciences and Research at Carver

Bibb County
Stratford Academy

50 Ga. teens named to Student Advisory Council

50 Ga. teens named to Student Advisory Council

ATLANTA -- Fifty high school students from across Georgia have been selected to serve on the 2012-13 Student Advisory Council.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge announced the members of his council Friday.

"The Student Advisory Council allows me to hear directly from students in our schools and discuss major initiatives with them," Barge said in a statement. "The council also gives students the opportunity to share with me their ideas and concerns, which we can use to shape future state policies."

PHOTOS | Dr. Barge visits Woodstock schools

More than 750 students from 121 Georgia school districts applied to serve on this year's council.

Path2College scholarship coloring contest ends Sept. 30

Path2College scholarship coloring contest ends Sept. 30

ATLANTA -- Georgia children in Pre-K through 5th grade can now color their way to a college scholarship from the Path2College 529 Plan.

In honor of College Savings Month, the statewide college savings program is hosting a coloring contest with a $1,529 scholarship at stake.

To win the money, children must color a picture of Hootie the Wise Old Owl and complete a sentence: When I graduate, I'm going to be a ________.

Download the picture of Hootie here.

Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 30 and must be received no later than Oct. 5. More information about the contest can be found at path2college529.com.

A winner will be randomly chosen in mid-October.

KSU freshman named GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year

KSU freshman named GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year

KENNESAW, Ga. -- A pre-pharmacy student at Kennesaw State University has been named the first-ever GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year.

Leslie Berry was introduced to GeorgiaBEST during her senior year of high school. The soft skills certification program is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Labor and was created to ensure that future members of Georgia's workforce are prepared to tackle real-world challenges.

Berry received a perfect 30 points in the GeorgiaBEST Soft Skills Assessment. She was one of only nine students at her alma mater, Rockdale Career Academy, to do so.

"Being a part of the GeorgiaBEST program ... (has) allowed me to learn first-hand the skills and characteristics of a hard worker," Berry, a KSU freshman, said in a statement. "This program has taught me how to be a desirable candidate for a job, and I am now prepared to enter the workforce with the confidence and skills necessary to succeed in a wide range of professional settings."

Rockdale schools oppose charter school amendment

Rockdale schools oppose charter school amendment

CONYERS, Ga. -- The Rockdale County Board of Education is asking residents to vote "no" for the charter school amendment.

The amendment, which will appear on the ballot during the Nov. 6 election, gives Georgia the right to authority to charter independent schools.

"The Rockdale County Board of Education opposes a dual taxpayer funding system to support state-approved charter schools which will diminish the ability of the state to restore the $5 billion in austerity reductions for Georgia schools system and fully fund public education," the school system said in a statement.

Read the full statement here.

Rockdale wins Race to the Top grant

Rockdale wins Race to the Top grant

CONYERS, Ga. -- Rockdale County Public Schools is one of only nine districts statewide to win an Innovation Fund grants through Georgia's Race to the Top plan.

Superintendent Richard Autry said the money will be used to extend middle-grade STEM initiatives at Memorial Middle School.

"(The initiative) includes a partnership with Georgia Tech through CEISMC (Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing) and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination)," Autry said in a statement. "This grant directly aligns with our strategic plan and allows us to expand our innovative learning options for students and families."

The Innovation Fund grant is awarded by Governor Nathan Deal. Now, the Governor's Office of Student Achievement must review Rockdale's proposed budget of $676,849 to determine exactly how much funding to give the district.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards searching for top volunteers

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards searching for top volunteers

ATLANTA -- Georgia students in grades 5-12 are encouraged to apply for the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

The awards program began searching for its next batch of honorees this week. Recipients of the award are young people who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service.

"We have been recognizing youth volunteers since 1995 and still, every year, we're amazed by the stories of exemplary community service," Prudential chairman and CEO John Strangfeld said in a statement. "We look forward to honoring the top youth volunteers of 2013 for their selflessness, their initiative and their dedication to changing communities for the better."