CIS/FC Appreciates Mentors

Original article published by The Cochran Journal on 2/19/2013.

mentor breakfast 2013-1


As a highlight of January being National Mentoring Month, Bleckley County Middle School hosted a Mentor Appreciation Breakfast on Friday, January 25, 2013 for Mentors serving in the CIS/FC Mentoring Program. Over 40 Mentors, Mentees and guests were in attendance for the fun-filled event.

Bleckley Middle School is proud to have 25 Mentors volunteering their time to meet once a week with their Mentee for an entire school year. Together they enjoy all types of activities such as drawing, cards, basketball, painting, jewelry making, board games and lots of laughter and conversation. The program is designed for both the students and adult to form a strong trusting friendship and to have FUN!

In addition to mentoring, Communities in Schools of Cochran/Bleckley County and Family Connection Community Partnership, Inc. provides the following initiatives for our school system: 21st Century Community Learning Center After School Program, Abstinence Education and Youth Development program and Safe Schools/Healthy Students program services which include Mental Health services, Family Case Management services, Parents As Teachers program or Wellness and Prevention programs.

If you are interested in more information about the mentoring program or would like to sign up for training next fall, please contact Gretchen Wilson-Tuck, CIS/FC Site Coordinator at 934-4300 or email


2013 Student Achievement Month – Local Contest Winners

For the past ten years, Communities In Schools of Georgia has held an annual Student Achievement Month contest. Designed to recognize Georgia students who are sometimes overlooked and often expected to underachieve, this year there were more than 200 entries from elementary, middle and high school students who receive Communities In Schools services.

Bleckley County students competed at the local level in the categories of computer technology and creative expression on February 7, 2013. First and second place winners were honored for their achievement and will move forward to the regional competition in March. Winners at the regional level will move on to the state competition.


2013 Student Achievement Month winners

2013 Student Achievement Month winners


Middle Grades Computer Technology Winners (Left to right) Amanda Horne, 1st Place and Sherita Amerson, 2nd Place

Middle Grades Computer Technology Winners (left to right) Amanda Horne, 1st Place and Sherita Amerson, 2nd Place

Middle Grades Creative Expression Winner: Malik Fowler, 1st Place

Middle Grades Creative Expression Winner: Malik Fowler, 1st Place

Creative Expression Elementary Grades Winner: John Michael Teagle, 1st Place

Creative Expression Elementary Grades Winner: John Michael Teagle, 1st Place

Creative Expression Elementary Grades Winner: Ieisha Horne, 2nd Place

Creative Expression Elementary Grades Winner: Ieisha Horne, 2nd Place





Decorated Door Contest at 21st Century Community Learning Center

Original article published by The Cochran Journal. Article and photos by Tanya Kirkpatrick.

Four classrooms. Four doors. Four judges. One pizza feast donated by Pizza Hut awaiting delivery to whichever classroom was declared the winner in the 21st Century Community Learning Center Door Decorating Contest held Wednesday, December 12, 2012.

Each of the doors had a Christmas theme – strings of lights, garlands, snowmen – but all four judges agreed that the Fourth Grade classroom’s door was a step above the others in terms of creativity, originality execution and neatness.

The stockings hung on the paper “mantle” were colored by the students and both the wreath and the flames of the fire in the fireplace were actually cut-outs of the students’ hands on construction paper. “Framed” pictures of the students and brightly colored candles placed on the mantles capped off the illusion if a cozy holiday fireplace.

Second Place was awarded to the snowman themed door. Third Place went to the door decorated with lettered pennants and Christmas ornaments, and Honorable Mention was given to the final door, which was adorned with a single string of “lights”, each bearing a student’s name.

It was obvious that everyone worked hard on their door to best represent the spirit of Christmas and The Cochran Journal was honored to be one of the judges in the competition.

The winning door

The winning door


December 2012 Parent Meeting: Cookies with Santa

To celebrate the holiday season, Santa made a special appearance at the CIS/FC December parent meeting! Parents and students sang Jingle Bells as Santa made his grand entrance on December 18, 2012. Santa chuckled and waved as students eagerly lined up to tell him their wish lists. Santa gave each child homemade cookies as a token of the Christmas spirit.



Students and parents also participated in Christmas trivia. The family with the most correct trivia answers won a prize. Congratulations to Brendan and Brandon Hudson on their very merry win!


Lights On Afterschool


More than one million people gathered at more than 9,000 sites across the country and at U.S. military bases worldwide to participate in the only nationwide rally for afterschool programs. At Lights On Afterschool events, students conducted science experiments, showcased artwork, performed on stage, learned about healthy eating, participated in sports tournaments, spruced up parks and nature trails, and sent the message that millions more children need quality afterschool programs. For the sixth year in a row, the Empire State Building in New York City was lit up this evening in honor of the event.

Uncertain Times, a survey of afterschool programs released recently, revealed that programs across the country are struggling to keep their doors open. At this year’s Lights On Afterschool events, communities rallied behind these programs and urged Members of Congress to increase federal afterschool funding and reject efforts to divert funds intended for afterschool programs.

For years, the federal investment in afterschool has lagged far behind the need. The No Child Left Behind Act authorized $2.5 billion for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (the chief federal funding stream for afterschool) in 2007, yet funding stands at less than half that today. Congress is currently considering legislation that would allow other programs to compete for already-limited 21st Century Community Learning Centers funds. Forty-eight governors issued Lights on Afterschool proclamations.

Bleckley County’s 21st Century Community Learning Center participated in Lights On Afterschool for the first time on October 18, 2012. The event was hosted at the 21st CCLC site and served as an interactive Open House event for parents and students. Parents and students were able to take family photos in the Lights On Afterschool photo booth which included silly hand-held props! Parents were encouraged to participate in enrichment activities with their student. Light refreshments were served.