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Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children

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Little Free Library vandalized

In the first case of actual vandalism, the Little Free Library at Northside Hills Apartments was intentionally damaged.

After being dedicated and installed on Friday, it was vandalized over the weekend.

“It is with great sadness that I report the first case of intentional vandalism surrounding one of our 11 Little Free Libraries of the Griffin-Spalding County community,” Bell said.

“Northside Hills Apartments Little Free Library’s Steward Da’Shundria Davis called me Monday morning to say how shocked she was to find that the Little Free Library had been knocked off its wooden pole, as well as missing its door plus the books,” Bell said. “Trust and believe, we will not be deterred by the ignorant actions of others in the continuing of this initiative. The Little Free Library is being repaired and once completed, will be placed inside the Northside Hills Apartment’s community center.”

Bell added the hours of operation at the community center are weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The children will still have access to ‘take a book, leave a book.’ I expect there will be at minimum 15 Little Free Libraries by the end of 2017 of the Griffin/Spalding community, both indoors and outdoors,” he said.

Bell had mentioned vandalism at the dedication, asking the children to look out for the box, but also noting damage because of use was not vandalism, and he hoped this one would be used.

That is what happened to the one at Fairmont Homes, where the glass in the door came loose from use. It was quickly repaired and remains in service.

On the way to 15, there are two more Little Free Library dedications this month. There has been at least one a month since Bell and Spalding Collaborative began this effort in January.

The existing LIttle Free Library at Cowan Road Elementary School will be dedicated to the memory of Julie McLean Smith by the McLean family and the school at 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22. The following week a ribbon-cutting is scheduled for one at City Park, sponsored by the Sun City Civitan Club, at 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29.

For more information and locations of the Little Free Libraries around town, visit http://spalding.gafcp.org/little-free-library-initiative/ or email brettbell@designscreated.biz and doris@spaldingcollaborative.com.

BY RAY LIGHTNER STAFF WRITER RAY@GRIFFINDAILYNEWS.COM Sep 18, 2017

Little Free Library vandalized

In the first case of actual vandalism, the Little Free Library at Northside Hills Apartments was intentionally damaged.

After being dedicated and installed on Friday, it was vandalized over the weekend.

“It is with great sadness that I report the first case of intentional vandalism surrounding one of our 11 Little Free Libraries of the Griffin-Spalding County community,” Bell said.

“Northside Hills Apartments Little Free Library’s Steward Da’Shundria Davis called me Monday morning to say how shocked she was to find that the Little Free Library had been knocked off its wooden pole, as well as missing its door plus the books,” Bell said. “Trust and believe, we will not be deterred by the ignorant actions of others in the continuing of this initiative. The Little Free Library is being repaired and once completed, will be placed inside the Northside Hills Apartment’s community center.”

Bell added the hours of operation at the community center are weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The children will still have access to ‘take a book, leave a book.’ I expect there will be at minimum 15 Little Free Libraries by the end of 2017 of the Griffin/Spalding community, both indoors and outdoors,” he said.

Bell had mentioned vandalism at the dedication, asking the children to look out for the box, but also noting damage because of use was not vandalism, and he hoped this one would be used.

That is what happened to the one at Fairmont Homes, where the glass in the door came loose from use. It was quickly repaired and remains in service.

On the way to 15, there are two more Little Free Library dedications this month. There has been at least one a month since Bell and Spalding Collaborative began this effort in January.

The existing LIttle Free Library at Cowan Road Elementary School will be dedicated to the memory of Julie McLean Smith by the McLean family and the school at 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 22. The following week a ribbon-cutting is scheduled for one at City Park, sponsored by the Sun City Civitan Club, at 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29.

For more information and locations of the Little Free Libraries around town, visit http://spalding.gafcp.org/little-free-library-initiative/ or email brettbell@designscreated.biz and doris@spaldingcollaborative.com.

  • Sep 18, 2017

Book Drop at First National Bank

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last Friday for the Little Free Library Book Drop at First National Bank in Griffin. FNB serves as the primary location for the books donated to the program, whose focus is to build lending libraries in community locations. FNB Marketing Director Andrea Dunson (center, with scissors) and members of the 2017 Griffin-Spalding Leadership Team conceived and organized the inventory system at FNB to house and help in the distribution of books to the little libraries throughout Spalding County. FNB’s drop box was designed by Brian Miller and the box’s wrap was made by Chase Moody. “This is so, so exciting. The box looks absolutely amazing,” said Brett Bell organizer of the Little Free Library program in Spalding County. “We are very, very excited about this initiative in Spalding County,” Dunson said, adding that FNB will serve as main site for the program’s book as long as the Little Free Library program is in Spalding County.

KAREN GUNNELS/DAILY NEWS

Northside Hills hosting 11th Little Free Library

The 11th Little Free Library will have a ribbon-cutting celebration today at 4 p.m., at Northside Hills Apartments.

The apartment complex at 615 Northside Drive will host the celebration and be the steward. The Little Free Library there is sponsored by Vulcan Materials Company.

Next week, the existing LIttle Free Library at Cowan Road Elementary School will be dedicated to the memory of Julie McLean Smith by the McLean family and the school. That ceremony will be Friday, Sept. 22 at 3:30 p.m.

There will be another on Friday, Sept. 29 at City Park at 4 p.m. It will sponsored by Civitan Club of Sun City. Life Song Church’s Youth will be the steward, according to Brett Bell.

The Little Free Library initiative has been spearheaded by Bell and the Spalding Collaborative to promote literacy in the community. Bell said he first learned about the Little Free Library, when Doris Breland at the Collaborative told him about it.

“In December, I said to Mrs. Doris, let’s do this, and the community has done this,” Bell said, last month, at the dedication for the 10th one a DeVotie Baptist Church.

Bell thanked the ongoing supporters of the Little Free Library initiative.

“It’s amazing how this initiative has brought so many spokes of the wheel together,” Bell said, referring to the many businesses and individuals who have stepped up to support this initiative.

There was a ceremony last week for one those — First National Bank — which has become the library for the Little Free Libraries by collecting, sorting and storing donated books that go to stock and replenish books at the Little Free Libraries. The bank now has a drop box to accept donated books. WellStar Spalding Regional Women’s Center also has a drop box.

For more information and locations of the Little Free Libraries around town, see http://spalding.gafcp.org/little-free-library-initiative/ or contact brettbell@designscreated.biz and doris@spaldingcollaborative.com.

Doc Holliday BBQ & Music Festival returns

The annual Doc Holliday Barbecue and Music Festival will return to downtown Griffin Sept. 22 and 23, bringing with it entertainment of the past and present.

This family-friendly event not only offers entertainment for all, but has made it more affordable than ever before.

In past years, the festival was a gated event and required payment to enter, but not this year.

“It’s a non-gated event, so there’s no cost; it’s free. The concerts and kid’s activities – it’s all free,” said Will Doss, of Eagle’s Way Church and the Spalding Collaborative, two of the event’s organizers.

The weekend’s festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. Friday with concerts in The Park at 6th. Performing will be The Garrett Collins Band, Mixed Tribe and Griffin Rhythm. A variety of vendors will also be on hand beginning Friday night.

“We’ll have a ton of food and beverages, several apparel-type things and a couple of non-profits,” said Doss. “Vendors will be set up Friday night and all day Saturday.”
Another hugely popular annual event – the Southside Riders’ Association Tab Run – will also take place Saturday morning, with the ride finishing up at the Doc Holliday BBQ & Music Festival.

“There will be 300 to 400 motorcycles riding in,” Doss said.

The SRA will be providing free entertainment for kids, offering bounce houses and train rides.

One key highlight of the weekend – the barbecue competition – promises to make your mouth water.

“The Georgia Barbecue Association competition will be great. We’re anticipating about 40 professional teams because we are having a double-points contest this year,” Doss said.

The barbecue teams will be set up in the Spalding County Annex parking lot across from the train tracks on Broad Street.

“The general public can purchase a sampler platter with twelve teams barbecue for $5. It’s called the People’s Choice, and if they purchase it, they’ll actually get to vote, and there is a prize for that,” Doss said.

In addition to the live concerts, DJ Matt Floyd will be playing a wide variety of music all day Saturday.

From the Shadows of the Past – a re-enactment group – will return to the festival to present three shows in The Park at 6th depicting the shootout at the OK Corral. Each show will run about 30 minutes, and show times are slated for approximately 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Another quite popular event will return – the ancillary cookoff competitions.
Open to the public, there will be three categories – chicken wings, barbecue sauce and desserts.

Registration is ongoing, with a fee of $25 per category.

The ancillary competition will be held Friday evening, and additional information and registration is available online at http://www.dochollidayfest.com.

Another popular event is the raffle, with this year’s prize being a smoker valued at $2,500, that was donated by Stump’s Smokers, who, along with Penrose Construction, is a primary festival sponsor. Tickets are only $5 each and will be available for purchase until 4 p.m. Saturday.

Six partners – the Griffin Main Street Program, the Exchange Club, Eagle’s Way Church, the Downtown Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the Spalding Collaborative – make the festival possible.

All profits from the event will go to the Spalding Collaborative’s Children’s Charity Fund.
“One of the biggest things they do is the Backpacks 4 Kids program through the school system,” Doss said. “It identifies children who might be at risk of going the weekend without eating and provides food to them.”

The festival will run from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Guests are welcome to bring their own chairs, but bleacher seating in The Park at 6th will be provided.

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

The GRIP
September 14, 2017

 

Local team honoring Ellis at Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The Southern Crescent counties of Spalding, Coweta, Fayette, Henry, and south Fulton Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Oct. 7 at 9:30 a.m. at the Frederick Brown Amphitheatre in Peachtree City.

The Griffin-Spalding County “Hearts to Love” walk team is dedicating the memory walk to honor the caregivers and the 1,200 who suffer from Alzheimer’s living in the community.

The team is also honoring the work of Jo Ellis, the Spalding County Senior Center supervisor who initiated programs and events to raise awareness and the hope for an Alzheimer’s cure. She lost her battle to a different disease, cancer, Sept. 29, 2016.

“She will never know what results may come from her effort actions toward Alzheimer’s but if we do nothing, there will be no results,” a statement from the “Hearts of Love” team read.

For more information or to donate, visit www.alz.org/walk or Hammond Services Facebook page. You may also call Nancy Moore at 770-227-2899 for more information.

Submitted to Griffin Daily News

10th Little Free Library at DeVotie Baptist

DeVotie Baptist Church is hosting the 10th Little Free Library located next to its playground on Ruth Street.

Worship Leader Brett Duncan said he “stumbled upon one” in Jackson, saw them pop up here and wanted to host one at the church.

“I saw that as an extension of beautifying the community,” Duncan said.

He noted it is also part of the church’s goal of “reaching up, reaching out, reaching in” to the neighboring community.

Minister Daniel Foster said it is “fantastic to reach children in the neighborhood, to build a relationship with children in the neighborhood, to let them know we are resource here for you.”

Brett Bell — who has spearheaded the Little Free Library initiative with the Spalding Collaborative — thanked Duncan, saying, “we didn’t even ask. He came to us. Thank you for your leadership.”

Bell said he first learned about the Little Free Library when Doris Breland at the Collaborative told him about it and how it has promoted literacy in communities across the country.

“In December, I said to ‘Mrs. Doris, let’s do this, and the community has done this,’” Bell said.

Bell said the goal was to do one a month, beginning in January and with this one, there have been 10 so far, with two more planned for next month — at Northside Hills Apartments on Sept. 15 and at the Griffin Area Resource Center on Sept. 29.

Also next month, Bell said, there will be a ribbon-cutting Sept. 8 at First National Bank for the drop box being located there.

Andrea Dunson of First National Bank organized the book sustainability program for the Little Free Library initiative, getting that job added to the marketing director position at the bank, which has a room set aside as a library of books to go out to the Little Free Libraries, sorted by children’s, youth, fitness and adult.

WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital also has a book drop by the Women’s Center at the hospital, Dunson said.

Bell thanked the ongoing supporters of the Little Free Library initiative — including First National Bank, WellStar and the Griffin-Spalding County Library. The library, he said donates books too. There is no competition. He thanked the art departments at Spalding High School and Rock Springs Christian Academy which had decorated some of the boxes.

“It’s amazing how this initiative has brought so many spokes of the wheel together,” he said.

For more information and locations of the Little Free Libraries around town, visit http://spalding.gafcp.org/little-free-library-initiative/ or contact brettbell@designscreated.biz and doris@spaldingcollaborative.com.

DeVotie Baptist Church to host next Little Free Library

The next Little Free Library in Spalding County will have a ribbon cutting on Wednesday.

The event is scheduled for 4:15 p.m., Wednesday at DeVotie Baptist Church, 1355 Experiment St. The church is the sponsor and steward for this Little Free Library, which is the 10th so far this year.

Working with the Spalding Collaborative, Brett Bell has worked to get locations, stewards and sponsors for at least one a month since January, all to help promote literacy. Two more are scheduled for September, with ribbon-cuttings at 4 p.m.

Bell said that number 11 will be at Northside Hill Apartments, 615 Northside Drive, is sponsored by Vulcan Materials and the apartment leasing office will be the steward. Number 12, he said, will be at Griffin Area Resource Center, which will serve as steward, and it is sponsored by Southern Crescent Technical College.

The locations so far include CHARMS at Fairmont Homes, the Oaks at Park Pointe, Third Ward Park, downtown at East Broad and South Hill streets, Fairmont Community Center, Knowledge is Power at 229 West Poplar St., Airport Road Park, and two at Orchard Hill Park.

For more information Spalding Collaborative LFL Initiative, see http://spalding.gafcp.org/little-free-library-initiative/ or contact brettbell@designscreated.biz and doris@spaldingcollaborative.com.

Aug 30, 2017

Students attend zero robotics challenge

Some local middle school students recently attended the Zero Robotics’ International Space Station Programming Challenge via satellite from Georgia Tech’s campus.

“The Zero Robotics program has a fun, flexible yet challenging curriculum where students work in teams to learn about computer programming, robotics and space engineering,” said Kenda Woodard, director of housing operations at the Griffin Housing Authority.

The challenge was the world’s first robotics space competition where NASA space station astronauts “refereed” the race, Woodard said.

The local students formed Team SCCAFC, also known as the Griffin Bulldog Bots. The team worked collaboratively with other teams in its region to develop the final code submitted to the competition.

For the past four years, GHA has partnered with the UGA Griffin campus and the Spalding County Collaborative Authority for Families and Children in bringing a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math summer camp to Griffin.

Students gained hands-on experience during the five-week zero robotics camp working with coding SPHEREs, which is synchronized position, hold, engage and re-orient experimental satellites. Woodard explained.

The zero robotics competition was facilitated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Laboratory, which originally designed SPHERE satellites, according to Woodard.

Article submitted to Griffin Daily News

August 20, 2017

Ferst Foundation combats childhood illiteracy

As she was leaving a meeting where she said there were more children than funding available for all of them to receive books from the Spalding County Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, resulting in a waiting list, Louisa Melton said she was stopped by a parent who told her a story that explains why the group’s mission is so important.

The mother had adopted a child when he was very young. The first few months of life had been traumatic, and as a result, he had no language skills.

For the next few years, Melton said the parent read, sang and talked to the child constantly. A turning point came when the child began to receive his very own books from the Ferst Foundation. He realized the books were his to keep, that he did not have to share them or return them and that he could read them over and over.

Reading soon became his favorite thing to do. He began kindergarten and was ready to learn, and he is now a successful third grader, Melton said.

“No child should have to wait to learn,” Melton said. “So many children walk into pre-kindergarten or kindergarten with no language background, which has them starting two years behind.”

Melton said studies have shown that if a child is read to just 15 minutes a day develop better language skills, are better readers when they begin elementary school and are more successful academically. If they are successful in school, they are more likely to graduate from high school and ultimately contribute positively in the work force.

The Ferst Foundation’s mission is to help prepare young children for the best start possible when they enter school. It accomplishes this by supplying children from birth to 5-years old enrolled in the Ferst program with an age appropriate book every month until their fifth birthday. A newsletter accompanies each book with a guide for caretakers, an activity page for the child and literacy support material.

When Melton and Diane Pruett first formed the Spalding County Ferst Foundation, it started providing books for five children. By the end of 2015, the group was providing books to 1,115 children each month.

While there was a waiting list at the time, the group now provides books for 820 Spalding County children and there is no waiting list.

“This is a more sustainable number,” Melton said.

The foundation registers 90 percent of its children through government agencies such as the Department of Family and Children Services, Spalding County Health Department, Babies Can’t Wait, Head Start and WIC as well as the Griffin-Spalding County Library and WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital.

Melton said the Ferst Foundation wants to supply books for all Spalding County children from birth to 5 years, funding is a constant concern. The group does receive some funding from grants, but relies mostly on donations.

While enrolling in the program costs nothing for the family, it only costs $36 per year to fund books for one child.

All donations to the Ferst Foundation are tax deductible, and 100 percent of all donations go to books. Donations can also be made in honor or in memory of someone.

 

The foundation would like to get more Spalding County businesses involved in donating to the program.

“We would love to come and talk to businesses and organizations to get the word out about how the program works,” Melton said.

While the foundation needs donations, the local Spalding County Community Action Team also needs volunteers.

Melton said the team currently has 10 members but needs more volunteers to publicize Ferst’s efforts and talk to clubs about the program.

“We have got to get the word out,” Melton said.

Donations can be mailed to the Ferst Foundation at P.O. Box 2092, Griffin, Georgia, 30224.

For more information, call Melton at 770-584-6241.