Walton County to Celebrate Communities In Schools Day on May 3

May 3 is Communities In Schools Day in Walton County!  Proclamations have been issued by the Cities of Monroe, Loganville, Social Circle and Walnut Grove, and by the Walton County Board of Commissioners celebrating the importance of CIS of Walton County and encouraging support from the community.

To celebrate, students from each of our CIS school sites will be serving the community at each of four participating banks.  Customers at Athens First Bank and Trust in Monroe, Liberty First Bank in Monroe and Pinnacle Bank in Social Circle will be treated to a free windshield wash, and will receive information about how CIS is helping students stay in school and achieve in life.  Donations will be accepted at each location. 


College and Career Expo

More than 1000 juniors from six local high schools had the chance to explore careers and meet college recruiters during the 3rd Annual Walton County College and Career Expo on April 11.

The event, held at Meridian Park, is a cooperative effort among Communities In Schools, the Walton County Chamber of Commerce and the Walton County Board of Commissioners.

"This is a great way for students to get a broad view of the many different careers that are available in our community and to learn how the work they are doing now in high school can help them be prepared for those careers," said Bill Inabinet with Athens First Bank & Trust, chairman of the event.

More than 85 organizations  representing 8o careers and 15 colleges entered exhibits in the Expo.  "We are so grateful to the colleges, businesses and organizations who set aside their time to prepare and present an exhibit to benefit our local students,"  said Angela Yarman, executive director of Communities In Schools of Walton County.  "This is something that was purely to benefit students, and our exhibitors were very generous with their time and resources."

Career Fair at SCES

More than 30 business and community representatives came to Social Circle Elementary School to share their careers at the CIS Career Day on February 28.

"Even though our students are in elementary school, it is never too early for them to begin thinking about the future," said CIS Site Coordinator Debra Rakestraw, who organized the event.  "The kids did a great job asking questions and we are so grateful to all of the exhibitors who came out."

Enduring Regret

Students at Walnut Grove High School heard first-hand how a terrible choice made in the heat of the moment can lead to a lifetime of regret.

Chris Sandy, a former prison inmate who was incarcerated after causing the death of two people in an automobile crash while he was driving under the influence of alcohol, spoke to WGHS students about how his decision to drive just a few miles down a back road impacted him and everyone around him.

"Students just don't ever think it could happen to them," said CIS Site Coordinator Milisa Wise, who organized the event.  "He came here to tell everyone that it can happen and it did happen to him."

"One minute he was a 22-year-old kid having fun with his friends, and the next minute, his life was changed forever by a choice he made,"  Wise said.   "Our students were really listening to him, and I hope they will learn from what he told them and not make the same mistake."

Read more about Chris Sandy and his story here.

Punctuality Pays at MAHS

As simple as it seems, showing up every day on time is a key factor of success.  Punctuality is an important workforce skill because employers know that missed time adds up to huge losses in productivity and profitability.  The same is true in high school:  when students miss school, they miss out on important instruction, study time and assignments which can seriously impact achievement. 

That's why Communities In Schools and the MAHS Attendance Committee have teamed up to offer Punctuality Pays, a quarterly incentive for students who consistently arrive on time for classes and those who are improving. 

Students who qualify  receive an invitation to spin the prize wheel during lunch and receive goodies like soft drinks, candy and chicken sandwiches.  

"The kids appreciate that we recognize them for doing the right thing," said CIS Site Coordinator Ivy Corder.  "They are so excited, you would think those Cokes were pure gold."

The incentive program is paying big rewards for the school.  Many students who are improving their attendance are also seeing marked improvement in grades.