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Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children

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Superintendent gives State of the District Address

Griffin-Spalding County School Superintendent Jim Smith gave a State of the District Address on Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Griffin Region College and Career Academy.

Smith spoke about the vision of the local school district, changes that have been implemented and areas in which they hope to improve. Smith said that it’s important to him that the vision of the GSCS is to be an agent of change. “We want to prepare (students) in those early skills, those early abilities, that allow them to be successful moving into post-secondary opportunities,” Smith said.

A key point of his presentation was placing emphasis for student and school success on the community as a whole. “If we can engage families, businesses and community members in the mission of education, then student achievement will increase,” Smith said.
He said the school district needs outside support and that local businesses and organizations are more likely to support a well-run school system. “No one is going to sign on to support an organization that they view as being chaos, but they will sign on to support one they view as moving forward in a coherent fashion with a mission and vision that makes sense,” he said.

In 2016, a curriculum audit was performed by an outside organization. Smith said the goal of the audit was to uncover what GSCS does differently from districts that are considered successful and how they operate to create successful results.
“The lead auditor told our group of administrators, that because of the things that I’m showing you that we found or did not find, you shouldn’t be surprised at what results you’re getting because there are gaps,” Smith said. He added, “I think if you don’t take the time to figure out where you are, you’re doing a disservice.”

He said that since the audit was performed little more than two years ago, the school district has completed or are in progress on 75 percent of the recommendations that were made. “They came up with a number of recommendations in 10 categories ranging from board policies, to financial budget to curriculum development and review and almost anything else in between,” Smith said. Some of those recommendations were curriculum redevelopment and creating a balanced literacy plan.

The GSCS is using a model of curriculum redesign known as Rigorous Curriculum Design or RCD. This model “will offer curriculum guides for English Language Arts, math and science,” according to literature provided at the event. One of the district’s goals in creating balanced literacy means bringing all students to grade level reading skills so they are better prepared for all their classes.

Smith also said that GSCS wants the best and brightest staff, but has to compete with other schools to obtain them. He added that there is a teacher shortage throughout the United States that limits the overall number of teachers available.

One area which Smith said needs to change is the way the local community views the size of the school system. He said that people think of Griffin as being a small town, but the school district itself is not small compared to other districts.

“I believe we have to act like a larger school district. We’ve got to be a little more formalized because we are larger,” he said.
Other topics discussed were preparing children for the kindergarten with the Zero to Five Initiative, use of cameras in classrooms for training and safety and structural modifications to the schools that allow for increased student safety

Oct 26, 2018 By Jennifer Reynolds, STAFF WRITER,  Griffin Daily News

Seniors hear from state, local agencies and legislators

Senior Legislative Action Day was an opportunity to hear from state and local aging agencies and local legislators on senior issues.
McIntosh Trail Council on Aging hosted the event for Spalding and Pike counties, something Dave Lamb said he hoped will become an annual event, with a goal to bring in the federal representatives next year, since some of the issues are related to federal programs.

Lamb, who represents Spalding County on the McIntosh Trail Council on Aging, said there are “1.3 million seniors in the state over age 65, well over 10 percent of the state population. The fastest growing segment of the population is seniors, driven by baby boomers.” In Spalding and Pike counties there are 14,000 seniors, making up more than 16 percent of the population. In Spalding County, he said, seniors over 65 make up 17.4 percent of the population, and 15.7 percent in Pike County.

“The Council on Aging feels it’s important to expose you to these issues, and to expose our legislators to those issues,” Lamb said.
Georgia Council on Aging Executive Director Kathy Floyd spoke about some of the issues the Council on Aging will be presenting to legislators in the next session to meet the challenge of the senior population explosion. These include funding for in-home care, to help seniors stay independent as long as possible, noting the $4 million approved has helped bring the waiting list down from 12,000 to 7,000 for Georgians age 60 and older waiting for in-home services.

Those services include help with meals, grocery shopping and other personal living tasks, including respite relief for primary caregivers. The cost for this, Floyd said, is about 1/10th the cost of a Medicaid nursing home bed.“Keeping people independent as long as possible,” Floyd said is the goal. “It saves taxpayers. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, past 100 days. Medicaid does. Many start off as private pay, but spend their assets down until Medicaid kicks in. Hundreds go off the waiting list because they can’t wait no more.”

The Georgia Council on Aging serves in an advisory capacity on aging issues to the governor, General Assembly, state Department of Human Resources and all other state agencies. CO-AGE, the Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly, is a group of individuals, consumers and providers interested in improving the quality of life for seniors through public policy.

Another priority, Floyd said, is funding for Aging Disability Reserve Connection, a neutral source of information about options for seniors who need help staying independent. It is a coordinated system of partnering organizations dedicated to providing accurate information about long-term supports and services, a majority of which are private, not government-funded. Currently, there’s $33,000 in funding for each of the 12 statewide service areas. Additional funding, she said would strengthen the network to meet the growing population.

Other priorities include requirements for personal care homes, with 1,400 licensed in the state, to make sure they are doing the best job here. This also helps “fight elder abuse,” Floyd said.Senior living options are also a priority as is health coverage for low-income seniors, with a proposal to raise the annual income above the current $12,384 for seniors on Medicare to help them with deductibles and co-pays, as it could improve health outcomes.

Georgia Division of Aging Services Director Abby Cox and Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging Executive Director Joy Shirley also spoke. Cox works with the 12 regional agencies and Shirley is the director of the local agency, which has 43 different programs in the 10-county region.
Cox said the state programs include the Georgia Memory Network, which has five memory assessment centers across the state — in Augusta, Atlanta, Macon, Columbus and Albany — with the assessments to help detect all forms of dementia. She encouraged seniors to use the Medicare well visits which now include a cognitive screening.

“If they detect something not quite right, they are referred to the local memory assessment center,” Cox said, and after assessment and diagnosis, wrap-around support services begin, to make sure caregivers get supportive services. Cox said there is a state-planned hearing process to set goals for senior care. Three Rivers recently hosted one to get input from providers, consumers and caregivers.

Sandra Deal, wife of Gov. Nathan Deal, is a part of the Older Adults Cabinet, which includes state agency department heads so the agencies can collaborate on three priorities finding a way to protect those abused and exploited; access to services; and workforce development.
While there is currently not a cure for dementia, Cox said, one of the main concerns raised is senior hunger, “we can do something about that.” She said the solutions are local in focus, and different across the state.“We are building coalitions is all 12 service areas,” she said.

Shirley said Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging has been around since 1977 and she’s watched it grown. The 10-county region has 15 senior centers, which Three Rivers contracts with the city and county governments to provide meals programs, and make sure they are in compliance with state requirements.Three Rivers also has a database of 2,500 resources in the region, from hairdressers to those who could build a ramp. For more on aging disability resources call 770-854-5402.

Georgia District 73 Rep. Karen Mathiak thanked the three women for the services their agencies provide and went over some of the legislation that has been passed to help seniors, including bills putting teeth in penalties and punishment for elder abuse. Others will help seniors stay in their homes longer, and help with education for caregivers.

Georgia District 16 Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone) said “we need to remember its not about programs it is about people. Caregivers are very, very, very special people,” sharing his own experience with them and his family. “We need partnerships, public and private,” he said. “ Government can’t do it all.”

 

 

Oct 25, 2018  RAY LIGHTNER, Griffin Daily News

Griffin Housing Authority honors success of residents

The Griffin Housing Authority and Educational Prosperity Initiative held its first of what will be an annual Resident Services Honors Ceremony last week celebrate the success of residents and to thank the service agencies that helped achieve this.

Housing Authority CEO Bob Dull said “most people have a stereotypical view of public housing and its residents. Tonight, we’re here to recognize them; we’re tooting our own horn.”

The programs included the Zero Robotics team, a STEM middle school program held in collaboration with the University of Georgia Griffin Campus summer camp program; Life Song Ministry job skills program; Taking Charge, which helps single parents who want to achieve self-sufficiency and take charge of their lives; Family Self Sufficiency, a Housing and Urban Development program; and Educational Prosperity Initiative, which promotes literacy and a system of general support in the neighborhood.

Anisa Freeman, the in-house program coordinator for this and other programs within the Housing Authority, explained the Zero Robotics team learns computer programming, robotics in a learning sphere and competes against students across the state. This year, the team — the BullDawg Bots — earned second place in the state competition.

The participating students — who were each recognized with a certificate — include Jhaylynne Burden, Uhmard Daniels, Devin Driver, Toriyah Gotell, Markirra Grier, Aziz Jackson, Da’Jannah Jackson, Logan Kiefer, Jalen Lindsey, Amalya O’Neal, Cyprus O’Neal, Kaili Parker, Georgia Pasley, Grayce Pasley, Braden Storkel and CyNya Sullivan.

Felicia Ashe, the Family Self Sufficiency coordinator for the Housing Authority, explained the HUD-funded program is designed to help families become self-sufficient, with classes and training and a requirement to obtain employment. “It is a five-year commitment,” Ashe said, help them break the cycle of poverty and gain more suitable employment.

As their income increase, she explained, they have to pay more in rent. The Griffin Housing Authority puts that money — the difference between their starting rent and the increased income rent — into an escrow account for the participants, and when they graduate, they get a check for that money.

Six graduates were presented their checks. Two have recently become homeowners through the Housing Authority and Community Home Investment Program (CHIP), with a third recently approved. All six have been able, through the program, to become self-sufficient and transition out of public housing.

In a video shown at the ceremony, each woman spoke about the FSS program and how they were able to set goals to improve their lives, able to become homeowners and how this program had been a blessing to them. Along with them on the video was the first GHA CHIP homeowner Kristy McDowell.

“It can be done, no matter what, no matter where you come from,” said one of the women, Artisia Hamm. “Your dreams can come true.”

Ashe said, “I am proud in helping them. A lot don’t know what it can be.”

Hamm was presented with a check for $2,756.37. She’d lived at Fairmont since 2007 and, like a couple of the others, started in the program in November 2011.

Chandra Varner was presented a check for $2,877.44. She said she’d been on her job for six years because of the program.

Kimya Dallas was presented with a check for $3,795.90, crediting the program for her obtaining suitable employment.

Crystal Webb was presented a check for $4,095.06. She moved into public housing back in April of 2014 and began in the program in 2015.

Stephanie Jordan, the second new homeowner under the GHA CHIP program, started in the program in 2016 and is a catering manager with Panera Bread. She was presented a check for $9,752.88.

Shamae Patterson, moved into Fairmont in 2011, while working as a paraprofessional at Anne Street Elementary School, and enrolled in the program later that same year. She worked on and completed her master’s of education degree and is now a full-time teacher with the Griffin-Spalding County School System. She was presented a check for $13,713,71.

“I was the better half of a relationship that ended because of drug addiction,” Patterson said, and after that separation, was no longer able to afford the apartment for her and her three children. She’s in her fourth year now of teaching and was just approved to be the next CHIP home owner.

Public housing, she said, “is just a stepping stone. The sky’s the limit to all that aim high.”

Dull said public housing is not the housing of last resort. “I want it to be the housing of opportunity,” he said. “I am tired of the stigma, the assumptions. I grew up in it and I didn’t turn out too bad.” Dull said at age 15 he told his unmarried mother of four “she’d never see me in public housing again. Well, God has a sense of humor, now I manage it.”

The motto and creed of the Housing Authority “is to lift people out of bondage,” Dull said, thanking those who “help me be a good service provider and to find a better way.”

He presented certificates of appreciation to two women who have done that in the community. Jewell Walker-Harps with her efforts with Educational Prosperity Initiative, and Regina Abbott with the Spalding Collaborative.

The event also recognized many of the partners and supporters with EPI and GHA including Ann Imes & Associates Realtors, Chick-fil-A, City Church of Griffin, ECHO Inc., Fairmont Alumni Association, Griffin-Spalding County Schools Family & Community Engagement, Griffin-Spalding County Schools pre-K and Title III program, Grace Home Team, Griffin Daily News, Griffin Region College & Career Academy, Homestar Financial Corporation Fayetteville Branch, Ish Homes LLC, McIntosh Trail Behavioral Health Center, NAACP Griffin Chapter, New Mercy Baptist Church, PBS Realty Company, Southside Medical Center Hope Health Clinic, Small Treasures Learning Center, Spalding County Collaborative Authority, Spalding County Health Department, Spalding County Senior Center, The Council on Alcohol and Drugs, Salvation Army, UGA-Griffin Archway Program, UGA-Griffin Continuing Education Department, UGA-Griffin Spalding County Cooperative Extension, UGA-Griffin Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics Department, United Bank Griffin Branch, WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital Community Education and Outreach and WorkSource Three Rivers.

Oct 23, 2018 BY RAY LIGHTNER, STAFF WRITER, GRIFFINDAILYNEWS.COM

Volunteers pack for Backpack Food for Kids

On Thursday mornings during the school year volunteers gather to pack bags of food for students in the Backpack Food for Kids program.

Friday was the first day this school year that the food was sent home with the kids.

“We had 199 to start this year,” said volunteer Kathy Rhodes, up from 130 last year.

“It was a good opening,” Rhodes said, expecting it to get up to 250 soon.

The volunteers come from across the county, from Sun City to East Griffin, from churches and local sororities.

The food is provided and packed at Five Loaves and Two Fish Food Pantry. The bags are delivered on Thursdays to each of the schools, to give teachers time to get the bags to the students to take home on Friday.

The food is sent home for children in need who eat breakfast and lunch at school, so they have food to eat on the weekends. The participants are recommended for the program by teachers and counselors at their schools.

RAY@GRIFFINDAILYNEWS.COM

BBFFK: 6701 Meals for FY18

The Backpack Food for Kids Program provided 6,701 weekend meals to about 250 children facing hunger  during the 2017-2018 school year, Sixteen faithful volunteers packed 53,608 nutritious easy-open foods items into backpacks.These students left school on Friday afternoon knowing they would have food for the weekend.  They returned to school on Monday morning ready to read and learn!
The program serves six elementary schools in the Griffin-Spalding County School System.  Students are recommended by their teachers, counselors and administrators and are enrolled in the program after obtaining parental consent. The enrollment begins over each year when the children return to school in August.
We want to meet these basic needs again! The Backpack Food for Kids Program is supported by monetary donations from individuals, churches, businesses and civic organizations, small grants and The Doc Holliday Festival held in September. We would greatly appreciate your support of Griffin-Spalding County’s most vulnerable children.You can also help by contacting me for more information and I would love to share this with interested groups. Please direct questions to Kathy Rhodes at 404- 316-2704 or krrhodes27@gmail.com Thank you for your support!

Donations are tax deductible and can be mailed to P.O. Box 701, Griffin, Georgia 30224 or on-line with at www.spaldingcollaborative.com. Please specify Backpack Food for Kids
By Spalding Collaborative

Little Free Library Initiative growing in Spalding County

A Griffin-Spalding Little Free Library was placed at Brighter Tomorrows Counseling on June 27 at 1815 North Expressway.

The newspaper box was donated by Griffin Daily News and decorated by students of AZ Kelsey Academy.

The stewards for the LFL will be Shannon Eller and the staff of Brighter Tomorrows.

Board Chairman Trudy Gill, of the Griffin-Spalding Chamber of Commerce, welcomed everyone and thanked them for their participation in the initiative before asking Andrea Dunson, librarian for the LFL, to open the ceremony with a prayer.

Brett Bell — who spearheads the Little Free Library campaign for the Spalding Collaborative — shared some of the history of the Little Free Library Campaign.

“The Little Free Libraries began in a small town in Wisconsin,” said Bell. “There

see library/page A2

are now more than 60,000 registered Little Free Libraries in every U.S. state and across the world.”

The initiative of the Spalding Collaborative started when Bell went to the Spalding County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board with a request to put a LFL outside the Fairmont Community Center.

Just over a year later, the Brighter Tomorrows LFL is the 23rd to be dedicated in Spalding County.

“I want to thank Shannon Eller and her staff for sponsoring this Little Free Library,” said Bell. “Literacy opens doors for young people and is key to their success.”

Books can be donated at dropboxes outside First National Bank’s main office and the Women’s Center at WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital, or can be put in one of the boxes.

“It is take a book, leave a book,” Bell said.

As part of a 2017 Griffin Spalding county leadership project initiative, the First National Bank Marketing Director Andrea Dunson became the librarian for the local Little Free Libraries.

“Over the past year we have had an outpouring of book donations for this project,” said Dunson. “With the help of my leadership team, we created the project to gather and sustain books for the LFL, but someone still has to manage it daily.”

“Our leadership group approached First National Bank of Griffin and asked if they would they play a role in the sustainment of program,” said Dunson.

First National Bank President Chuck Copeland agreed to have a book dropbox and also agreed for all of the books to be stored in a room at FNB.

“We have run out of space with the current shelves, and are having to make more room for the amount of books we are receiving,” said Dunson.

She had extra help this summer with an intern, Kylie Griffin, who will be a senior at Spalding High School in August.

“The idea of the Little Free Library is just amazing, and something I knew I wanted to help with when I heard about it,” said Griffin. “The opportunity to give people a chance to further their imagination with access to free books is so inspiring to me.”

Griffin organized and categorized all of the library books with the help of John Copeland, who is working to earn his Reading badge for Boy scouts.

“In addition to reorganizing the storage area for the books, Kylie and John visited all of the LFL, swapped out books, saw if any of the libraries need repair, and refilled all of the libraries with different books,” said Dunson.

According to Brett Bell and Doris Breland of the Spalding Collaborative, who Bell describes as “my right and left hands” in the initiative, the need for books continues as plans are in the works for more Little Free Libraries in Spalding County.

Landra Larson Griffin News
June 29, 2018

Little Free Library coming to Southside Hope Health Clinic

Southside Hope Health Clinic will be getting a Little Free Library.

The dedication for it will be 3:45 p.m., Wednesday at 409 W. Solomon St., Griffin. The box is a former newspaper box was donated and sponsored by The Griffin Daily News and decorated by A.Z. Kelsey Academy students.

The steward for the box, according to Brett Bell from the Spalding Collaborative, will be Carl Henry and staff at Hope Health Clinic. Another Little Free Library will be dedicated next week.

At 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, one will be dedicated at Brighter

Tomorrows Counseling, 1815 North Expressway, Suite B, Griffin. This box — also a former newspaper box donated and sponsored by The Griffin Daily News and decorated by A.Z.. Kelsey Academy students — will have Shannon Eller and staff as stewards.

Another dedication is scheduled for July 27 at the Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park playground, 1301 Cowan Road, Griffin. The dedication is scheduled for 3 p.m. — and this box is sponsored by Georgia Power and was built, decorated and “solar powered” by Sisavath Remodeling. A steward will be determined.

“Thank you for your continued support around the Spalding Collaborative’s Little Free Library initiative,” Bell said, announcing the upcoming dedications.

Bell also thanked First National Bank’s summer interns Kylie Griffin and John Copeland, whose responsibilities include “visiting each Little Free Library ensuring that there exist no maintenance issues, as well as changing out the books to that of different ones.”

He also gave a “major shoutout” to FNB Marketing Director Andrea Dunson and FNB President Chuck Copeland, for additional support.

 

  • Jun 19, 2018

The Little Free Library program gets a summer intern.

Thanks to the overwhelming support of our community, the Little Free Library program has been a huge success.  We now have 21 little libraries in Griffin & Spalding County with plans for several more later this year.
As part of a 2017 Griffin+Spalding county leadership project initiative, the First National Bank Marketing Director, Andrea Dunson, became the librarian for all of the little free libraries.  Dunson says “Over the past year we have had an outpouring of book donations for this project.  With the help of my leadership team, we created the project to gather and sustain books for the LFL, but someone still has to manage it daily.  Our leadership group approached First National Bank of Griffin, and asked if they would they play a role in the sustainment of program.  Chuck Copeland (President of First National Bank) agreed to have a book drop box and also agreed for all of the books to be stored in a room at FNB.  We have run out of space with the current shelves, and are having to make more room for the amount of books we are receiving.”
Andrea decided she needed help with the project this summer.  Kylie Griffin, who will be a senior at Spalding High School in August, expressed an interest in volunteering her time to help give back to her community and spread her love of reading.  Kylie said “The idea of the Little Free Library is just amazing, and something I knew I wanted to help with the second I heard about it. This opportunity, to give people a chance to further their imagination with access to free books is so inspiring to me, and I hope to continue being a part of this program for many years.”  This philosophy goes right along with the Little Free Library mission.
  This summer, Kylie decided she wanted to help in a bigger way by getting the Main Library for this project organized.  Kylie organized and categorize all of the library books with the help of John Copeland, who is working to earn his Reading badge for Boy scouts.  Besides reorganizing the storage area for the books, Kylie and John visited all of the LFL, swapping out books, seeing if any of the libraries need repair, and refilling all of the libraries with different books.  Doris Breland, of the Spalding Collaborative, is excited to see young people take an interest in this program.  She loves that youth of our community want to take their summer and give back to the town they love.   Doris Breland and Brett Bell were the champions who started the LFL project in Griffin.
Submitted by Andrea Dunson June 15,2018

More than a survivor

Dorsey Jones shared her story of sexual exploitation that began when she was 11 and how she’s now “more than a survivor but a conqueror.”

Jones is now a probation officer with Fulton County Juvenile Court, where she’s able to rescue young girls in trouble. She serves as a mentor and case manger for Youth Spark and as part of Fulton County’s Sex Trafficking Task Force.

“My life was designated for this, for the children I serve, to be their voice,” Jones said. “I don’t mind being the legs of the table, as long as we get the job done, it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”

Youth Spark, she said, was birthed through the Juvenile Court system.

“We see children charged with prostitution, but the johns only get a $50 fine,” she said.

The children, mostly girls but also some boys.

“They come to us for rehabilitation, group therapy, a hot meal,” she said. “A lot remind me of me, dirty, with an odor.”

They are provided toiletries and clothes too, along with “evidence-based clinical and community-based service.”

Her exploitation began at age 11 in Bainbridge. “A neighbor gave me $20, fondled me, had sex with me, then passed me to his brother and his father. I took that first $20 to the store and bought stew meat and green beans,” to feed her siblings.

Another neighbor started to abuse her, and before long she’d had sex with more than 200 men in the small town. “I didn’t really want to, but I was taught to, and there was a need in my house.”

They were all living with their abusive grandparents in poverty. Her absentee mother moved them from Virginia after leaving her father, a Vietnam veteran, who “was not doing right by us.”

Her mother, Jones said “brought us to Georgia to her family, and just dropped us off. We were living in a 2-bedroom apartment, with seven people, plus the four children.” She said they “endured more whippings and mistreatment.”

She ran away, seeking her father’s family, but ended up back in Georgia.

“I’d sleep with anybody who’d let me stay, so I didn’t have to sleep outside,” she said.

School became the only respite — the only place where she wasn’t being abused. A guidance counselor found out she was sleeping outside and intervened.

“Finally a family took me in that didn’t want to put me out,” Jones said.

She would hear people talk about her “as a stray, loose. I was just a kid, I don’t feel hatred. They don’t know. I never had a stable home. I was told I’d never be nothing, just like my mama and her house full of kids.”

When she graduated high school, a family recommended she go to Job Corps, so she headed to Atlanta. She heard about Atlanta University Center and ended up on the campus of Morris Brown College.

She enrolled at the school, despite her poor grades, but had no where to stay. She talked with the housing director and told her she needed a place to stay. She was given a key to an apartment, a new two-room apartment.

“I was happy to have it, but was told not to tell anyone,” because she was not supposed to be there.

Because she wasn’t supposed to be there, she wasn’t on the meal plan and only ate when she could, until kitchen staff told her one day, “you’re staying here, you can eat eat here.”

It was on campus where she met her husband of 23 years.

“For a whole year, he asked to take me out, and my answer was always no,” she said.

After he’d graduated, she told him to ask her one more time.

“Men hurt me as a kid, but God sent me a man to love me,” she said.

Jones said her story “is different than many others. Some lose their minds. I endured all that for a reason. My life was designated for this, for the children I serve, to be their voice.”

Jones speaks to civic clubs to share her story, and wrote a book of her experience — “The Angels Were Crying: Stretched Beyond Measure.”

Jones is a Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow with the Roswell Rotary Club. She spoke to Griffin Daybreak Rotary Club this past week as part of the local Rotary effort to bring awareness to sex trafficking.

“7,200 men a month buy kids,” she said. “The most important thing now is supply-and-demand.”

She asked them “what are you going to do make this work beyond Rotary? I’m glad backpage.com is gone but it is beyond this.”

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Rotary Club of Griffin and Griffin Daybreak Rotary Club have hosted presentations — including Jones’ visit this month. There has also been a series of stories in this newspaper on the topic to bring awareness to human trafficking. The clubs have also worked to get emergency contact information placed in bathrooms of local government buildings and businesses.

Jones is a part of Fulton County’s Sex Trafficking Task Force, which had it first meeting April 17. She was interviewed by Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts for his show, “The Chairman’s Circle.”

After that meeting, Pitts said, “this crime is happening in plain sight in our community. Our plan is to build broad awareness of commercial sex trafficking across demographics, in schools, and the public and private sectors and put tactical measures in place so that we can reach potential victims, current victims, and buyers of children.”

The interview will air April 22-28 on FGTV at http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/fgtv-on-youtube.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of articles on sex trafficking The Griffin Daily News will run this month.)