This spring, Middle Georgia State College students who take introductory courses in education and political science with certain faculty members won’t have to worry about buying books for those classes.
Affordable Learning Georgia, an initiative of the University System of Georgia that provides affordable textbook alternatives, awarded grants to Middle Georgia State to do just that for those courses. The grants, totaling about $21,000, will allow four faculty members -- Molly Kimsey and Loleta Sartin in the School of Education and Julie Lester and Christopher Lawrence in the Department of History and Political Science -- to attend training, modify their curriculum and research and locate open-content textbooks and other free resources to use instead of traditional texts that must be purchased.
Their adapted courses will be made available as models to other University System institutions that want to use them.
For students, the savings will be significant. Over the course of a year, an estimated 630 Middle Georgia State students will take Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education, a class that traditionally uses a $196 required text. That’s $123,480 in total savings to students. An estimated 420 students will take American Government, which traditionally requires an $89 textbook. That’s $37,380 in total savings.
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DILLARD HAVING DISTRICT 2 SESSION
Thelma Dillard, vice president of the Bibb County school board and its District 2 representative, is holding an “informational meeting” for residents of the district in the Fellowship Hall of Lizzie Chapel Baptist Church, 1180 Bartlett St., at 6 p.m. Oct. 13. The meeting is being held to inform residents of the district on board issues. The public is invited.
NATIONAL MERIT KUDOS
About 16,000 students nationwide have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, and the midstate has its share. Among them are Stratford Academy senior Zohar Rubinstein, as well as four Mount de Sales Academy seniors: Hannah Christian, Chambers English, Caroline Pearson and Elizabeth Pearson.
The students have the opportunity to become finalists and compete for a $2,500 scholarship to be awarded this spring. More than $33 million in scholarships will be offered next spring in the form of 7,600 National Merit scholarships.
FVSU NETS BIOTECH TRAINING GRANT
Fort Valley State University is launching a program to recruit and retain high school and college students in biotechnology fields.
The effort is being aided with a $149,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The funding will prepare people for food and agricultural biotechnology industries, said Sarwan Dhir, director of the college’s Biotechnology Center.
“We will accomplish this goal by providing the right tools, training and career guidance including K-12 students and educators of African-American descent, a population that has been under exposed to these fields in the past,” Dhir said in a statement.
The funding is also intended to provide a BioTech Summer Academy for high school students interested in agricultural majors, and to create an academic support program to help them transition into college. College students will get academic enrichment and summer internships, which will be supported with scholarships and faculty mentorships.
TUCKER ADDING PRE-K CLASS
Tucker Elementary School in Perry is adding a prekindergarten class.
Enrollment is open to children not already attending a Georgia lottery-funded pre-K program. Out-of-zone students may enroll but must provide their own transportation, according to a news release.
Pre-K students must have turned 4 years old on or before Sept. 1. Parents and legal guardians may register their children by picking up a form at Tucker Elementary, 1300 Tucker Road, Perry, and bringing the completed form and required documents to Central Registration, 303 S. Davis Drive, Warner Robins.
For more information, call Director of Special Programs Ron Wilson at 478-988-6330, ext. 10330.
PERRY CHAMBER HONORS STUDENTS
The Perry Area Chamber of Commerce announced its Student of the Quarter awards. Students honored include Saniya Hodges of Morningside Elementary, Brandon Askew of Perry Middle, Madison Hill of The Westfield Lower School, Mary Catherine Maloy of Hilltop Elementary, Riley Hickok of The Westfield Middle School, Alyssa Mountin of Mossy Creek Middle, Kathleen Bailey of Kings Chapel Elementary, Brooke Siegelman of Langston Road Elementary and Alyssa Lawhorn of Tucker Elementary.
HOUSTON LIBRARIES ADD STEM MATERIALS
Houston County libraries have begun adding $15,000 worth of materials to support science, technology, engineering and math efforts. The STEM materials include hundreds of books and hundreds of DVDs for children, young adults and adults, said J. Sara Paulk, director of the Houston County Public Library System. Materials cover areas from computers to biology to algebra.
“We really just tried to make sure we got a nice, wide swath of all those areas,” Paulk said.
Each of the county’s three libraries will get some of the materials, which were funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Georgia Public Library Services.
Writers Jennifer Burk, Mike Stucka and Oby Brown contributed to this report.