Gilmer Middle Schoolers Give Back to the Community

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In an effort to increase confidence and life skills, members from the Gilmer County Middle School (GMS) and Clear Creek Middle School (CCMS) Student Advisory Council spoke at last week’s Gilmer County Board of Education meeting.

“We believe that training kids is just as important as teaching kids. This is an excellent training tool. What we do is use this as a tool that is a kind of a springboard for Junior Beta. They are eligible for Junior Beta at seventh and eighth grade when they go to Clear Creek,”

GMS Principal Larry Walker said in the meeting.

According to fifth and sixth grade GMS Student Advisory Council Members Ashlyn Jenkins, Eli Cochran, Hoyt Stover, and Kimberly Garcia, some past and future student community service projects this year include helping the Gilmer County Food Pantry, Relay for Life, and the Gilmer County School Special Olympics. Students also have helped out with small jobs, such as volunteering at the school snack store, helping with Teacher Appreciation Week, and contributing to the fight against drugs by helping with Red Ribbon Week.

In addition, eighth grader Alexis Nunn told the board CCMS has also completed many community service projects this school year. One project included holding a food can drive for the Gilmer County Food Pantry, where both teachers and administrators volunteered to be “pied” in a pep rally to build momentum. CCMS raised over 2,000 cans from the event.

Furthermore, CCMS’ Student Advisory Council members recently volunteered at the Ellijay Elementary School and Ellijay Primary School to make Christmas ornaments for Pre-k and Special Needs students. In October, the students also raised money for the American Cancer Society and participated in Breast Cancer Awareness month by holding a “pink out” football game. These fundraisers resulted in four $500 scholarships to be awarded in memory of Myra Thomas, a former Gilmer County teacher who passed away from cancer. The scholarships will be awarded to Gilmer High School seniors at the Education Foundation Award Banquet in May.

CCMS 8th Grader Alexis Nunn

Following the presentations, CCMS Assistant Principal Doris Sanford spoke about some of the curricular successes and opportunities both GMS and CCMS offer to its students.

“Both CCMS and GMS offer connection courses consistent with grade level expectations afforded by the State of Georgia,”

she said.

Sanford went on to say that although both schools share connection staff on an A and B schedule rotation, the schools look to provide opportunities consistent with pathways that are offered at the high school level according to the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI).

“These set standards emphasize core presentation for post secondary success and student employability and careers that rely heavily on STEM initiatives,”

Sanford said.

Sanford predicts many citizens and schools around the state will hear more about the STEM institute in the next few months. The STEM institute is a program the Georgia Department of Education has implemented to prepare students for 21st Century workplace careers by providing high quality educational opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

To maintain this compliance, CCMS and GMS already offer connection courses and extra-curricular opportunities such as Keyboarding, Web-design, Robotics, SRA Club participation with STEM projects, Family and Consumers Science, Agriculture, and the Direct 2 Discovery program. In the Direct 2 Discovery Program, a Georgia Tech professor and his lab students participate in interactive eighth grade science classes at CCMS. Only one other middle school in Georgia has this same program, which is in Barrow County.

“We are appreciative of the opportunity and the support we have been given to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from our mistakes that Mr. Dorsey has afforded us as our Superintendent. In addition, we are thankful for the support of our local school board in pushing our system towards excellence through innovative programs and rigorous expectations,”

Sanford said.

CCMS Assistant Principal Doris Sanford explains curricular successes at CCMS and GMS.

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