Education notebook: Bibb students wear green to protest possible 4-H cuts

Bibb County students in 4-H were ready last week to protest the threat of massive state cuts to the leadership program.

At one point the state university system’s Board of Regents threatened to cut $8 million by closing half the state’s extension offices and end 4-H school programs. While the agencies may take some cuts, officials said later in the week the proposal was just a scare tactic and that the program would not be wiped out.

Nonetheless, students such as Juawn Jackson, a sophomore at Westside High, wore green to school Wednesday and posted a green clover — the symbol of 4-H — on his Facebook page.

Jackson started taking part in 4-H when he was a fifth-grader at Rice Elementary and through the program has mastered public speaking and taken on local and region officer roles.

He plans to travel to Puerto Rico this summer with 4-H and as a middle school student moderated a Macon mayoral race forum with then candidates Robert Reichert and David Cousino.

“4-H opened my life up to new opportunities,” Jackson said. “I’m trying to find different ways we can make an impact ... there is so much banking on the program we can’t sit back.”

Students in 4-H at Bloomfield Middle planned to wear green to school this past Friday.

Among student 4-H members in the midstate, Bibb has 1,439 members; Houston 471; Baldwin 252; Crawford 262; Jones 832; Laurens 1,557; Monroe 570; and Peach 508.

Two Houston high schools’ graduation rates recognized

Two Houston County high schools have been recognized by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education for their high graduation rates, according to a news release.

Houston County and Perry high schools made the list of the organization’s “85/10 Schools.” Under that designation, given to 15 schools across the state, each graduated at least 85 percent of its students in 2008 after boosting graduation rates by at least 10 percentage points since 2004. The schools were expected to maintain that graduation rate in 2009.

Throughout the five-year period, both high schools consistently achieved a higher graduation rate than the state as a whole.

“Our strategies include a process of continuous academic improvement. which is evident beginning in the elementary years,” said Superintendent David Carpenter according to the news release.

“The support from our parents and the dedication of our teachers, support staff, and administrators is a testament to this accomplishment.”

Baldwin retired educators host finance session

The Baldwin County Retired Educators Association is sponsoring a seminar at 2:30 p.m. March 15 on protecting educators’ assets before and during retirement.

Experienced professionals in financial and legal fields will address vital topics such as financial planning, completing wills, trusts and durable powers of attorney, evaluating long-term care and protecting assets from the IRS.

The seminar is free and open to the public and will be held at the Baldwin County Board of Education. For more information, call Nancy Hodge at 453-9277.

FVSU science program receives $1 million

The Cooperative Developmental Energy Program at Fort Valley State University received more than $1 million in funds from federal agencies and oil companies during a recent conference at the school, according to a news release.

During a conference event Feb. 28, representatives from groups such as BP Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave $1,053,500 toward the school’s engineering, geosciences and health physics program.

The event was part of the 27th annual CDEP Energy Career Day and Student Recruitment Conference, a three-day event.

FVSU’s WR center receives donation of textbooks

Fort Valley State University’s Warner Robins center library recently received a set of industrial hygiene textbooks from Robins Air Force Base, a school news release said.

They once belonged to the Bioenvironmental Engineering Services office at Robins Air Force Base. Base industrial hygienist David Trotter, who also serves as an adjunct professor for the Master of Public Health program, made the donation to the school’s library.

Macon State students receive media awards

Several students at Macon State College recently won awards for their work with the school’s newspaper and TV station at the Southern Regional Press Institute in Savannah, according to a news release.

Macon State’s newspaper, The Macon Statement, won second place for the outstanding newspaper among four-year colleges. Managing editor Glen Stone received first place for outstanding photography. Students Meaghan Smith and Sarah Frye earned second place in the event’s outstanding video category for their work with MSC-TV.

Compiled by Telegraph staff writers Andrea Castillo and Julie Hubbard.