Success Stories

Reading with the Cat in the Hat

A Community of Hope Read with Dr. Seuss Event was held on Wednesday, March 20. Local librarian, Elizabeth Howard, dressed up as the Cat in the Hat and read on the front porch of the community building. The Family Resource Center partnered with E911, Department of Family and Children Services, the Calhoun-Gordon County Library, and Family Connection to provide snacks, free books, and an unforgettable afternoon of reading.

World Read Aloud Day

World Read Aloud Day was celebrated on February 1st with videos of local people reading aloud posted on  @GordonConnection Facebook page. Readers from Calhoun-Gordon County Library were Nyala Edwards, Elizabeth Howard, and Manuel Aguilar. Manuel read a bilingual book. A two-year-old read his favorite book, Trains. Dr. Michele Taylor, Superintendent of Calhoun City Schools, read The List from Frog and Toad Together to Ms. Allison’s Pre-K Class. Meaghan Bryant read Skippy Jones. Vickie McEntire, Georgia Author of the Year, read the book she wrote, Little Bird & Myrtle Turtle. And retired Media Specialist and storyteller extraordinaire, Mark Drexler, read a couple of lively stories. Reading aloud to young children builds motivation, curiosity and memory and creates a positive association with books and reading. We encourage readers young and old to share great books with children. Happy World Read-aloud Day!

Drug and Alcohol Facts Week Art Event

The event was held on Saturday, January 26, and sponsored by The Council on Alcohol and Drugs in partnership with the Calhoun-Gordon County Public Library, the Calhoun Police Department, and Family Connection. 17 adults and 21 children expressed a fact about drugs and alcohol in a creative way. There were door prizes, the K-9 dog, refreshments, and so much fun!

Community of Hope Hosts Pics with Santa

On December 1, 2018, volunteers from area agencies–working through the Community of Hope committee–set up a fantastic North Pole setting with multiple Christmas trees, a huge Santa chair, and the real Santa for the children and families in our Community of Hope. The children from 16 families gave Santa their wish list and took home a free book and candy cane, and the adults received wrapping paper and bows. All families received printed photos from the session.

Tallatoona Presents at Interagency Council Meeting

Elaine Thompson, Case Manager and Marian Barber, Job Developer for Tallatoona Community Action Partnership presented at the December Interagency Council meeting. Tallatoona’s goal is to help families move forward toward self-sufficiency. In Gordon County last year, 1,096 households were assisted through their heating program, LIHEAP. They support our community through other programs like Head Start, Early Head Start, and Weatherization. She introduced the audience to a pilot employment training program that has been successful in Floyd and Polk Counties. The next step is to partner with GNTC, local employers, and area agencies to introduce the program into Gordon County.

Spotlight on Kinship Navigator Program

Jeffrey Cash, Vickie McEntire, Family Connection of Gordon County Coordinator, and Judy Housley

Jeffrey Cash, Social Services Program Coordinator for the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, presented information about the Kinship Navigator Program at the September Gordon County Interagency Council meeting. The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services launched the program in direct response to the increasing number of grandparents, relatives and other caregivers who have assumed responsibility for raising another relative’s children.

Our special guest was Judy Housley, a local grandmother who found herself raising her twin grandsons. Judy talked about her experience with the Kinship program, and she expressed with emotion her gratitude for the Family Ties program and parenting classes at the Family Resource Center.

Jeffrey Cash serves as the Kinship Navigator for Region 1, which covers Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Fannin, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, Pickens, Walker and Whitfield counties. For more information about the Kinship Program, contact Jeffrey at 706-692-4733 or Jeffrey.Cash@dhs.ga.gov.

Summer Community Education Programs

Summertime is for fun but some of the Gordon County summer camp programs continue educational opportunities with mini-sessions.  The Teen Health Task Force of the Gordon County Family Connection assists the Boys & Girls Club, Imagination Station and LEJO/Latinos for Education and Justice Organization with a schedule of presentations for the youth.  Each presenter shares information for about one hour. Other presenters include Emergency 911, fire department, 4-H, mental health and the department of health.

Beatriz Alvarez, Domestic Violence Outreach Office, shares information about positive safe relationships.

Beatriz Alvarez, Domestic Violence Outreach Office, shares information about positive safe relationships.

Sandra Bethune, Public Health, shares the dangers of smoking and vaping to youth.

Sandra Bethune, Public Health, shares the dangers of smoking and vaping to youth.

Kathy Kerce, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, presents information about Summer Safety.

Kathy Kerce, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, presents information about Summer Safety.

10th Annual Chamber of Commerce Leadership Resource Day

Adult and youth community leaders participated in the 10th Annual Leadership Resource Day on March 17th at Belmont Baptist Church. The Leadership Class attendees are given scenarios to “solve” using the information provided by service agencies. Nearly thirty youth and family service providers attend with a booth filled with information, displays, and business cards to provide an understanding of their programs.  A sample scenario is – Rita is 19 years old. Her husband was         unexpectedly incarcerated and she is unemployed. She does not have money to pay the weekly rent and has six month old baby. She’ll be locked out of her apartment if she does not pay by tomorrow at 5 p.m. Rita has $40 but rent is $115 per week. Her parents live in another state. She does not have a high school diploma. She worked briefly at fast food restaurants before the baby was born. She has a driver’s  license but does not have a car. What assistance is available to her?

Garret Pierce, Gordon County DFCS foster care services, shares information about becoming a foster parent.

Garret Pierce, Gordon County DFCS foster care services, shares information about becoming a foster parent.

Ali Harp, marketing director for Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership, shares information about educational events for families and individuals.

Ali Harp, marketing director for Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership, shares information about educational events for families and individuals.

Nurses from Gordon Hospital provide information about services they provide in northwest Georgia.

Nurses from Gordon Hospital provide information about services they provide in northwest Georgia.

Family Connection Coordinators from Region 1 Gathered To Celebrate Christmas  Fifteen coordinators from the region gathered in Calhoun to share fun and festivities in December 2014.  “The group meets regularly each month for the business of children and families in our communities.  This month we’re sharing the season with some fun,” stated Gordon County Family Connection coordinator Roberta Charbonneau.  Pictured from left, standing, are Rhonda Heuer from Polk County, Carol Willis from Floyd County, Vickie Van Pelt from Chattooga County, Joey Mullins with Georgia Family Connection Partnership in Atlanta, Pam Bishop from Murray County, Linda Mahan from Fannin County, Nina Lauter from Paulding County, seated from left, Jacque Elwarner from Pickens County, Tina Grubbs from Bartow County, Amanda Clark from Dadd County, and Jim Winchester from Haralson County.

Dr. Wright Dr. Beth-Sarah Wright discusses Hope, Health, and Faith  Author and inspirational speaker, Dr. Wright discussed depression, mental illness, and self-harm with Sources of Strength peer and adult leaders from all three area high schools on Thursday, 2/5/14. She discussed her journey from complete denial about having depression to her discovery that mental illness does not discriminate, needs to be openly discussed, and that there is always hope.

 

Chalk A All are welcome at 3rd annual Chalk It Up! event   Twelve people attended Saturday, 9/14/13, event at the BB&T City Park to remember and honor those who have died by suicide or considered it.

 

 

 

7th Annual Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class’ Community Resource Day

This popular event was held on Wednesday, March 20th, at Trinity Baptist Church in Calhoun.  Fifteen Gordon County and NW Georgia regional agencies and service providers had displays and information about their services and the clients they serve. The twenty-three (23) members of this year’s  Leadership Class used role-playing scenarios to learn about local agencies and services.  One example was – Joan is a single working mom.  Her 15 year old daughter, Kirsten, is at home each day after school until 6:30.  Joan is concerned about this unsupervised time for Kirsten.  Comments about the Resource Day event  included “Very enlightening…”;  “I didn’t know all of these agencies were here in Gordon County.”; and “I want to begin to volunteer!”

Pictured above are representatives of The Bridge and LEJO/Latinos for Education and Justice Organization.

 

 

Gordon Survivors Of Suicide host Chalk It Up!

The second annual event commemorating those lost by suicide in Gordon County was held on Saturday, 9/15/12, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at BB&T City Park in downtown Calhoun. Survivors were encouraged to visit the park to draw a picture, write a poem or prayer, or simply remember their loved one.

 

 

Raising awareness of food instability and hunger

… in our county is an important issue fo our firefighters.  In October and November 2012,  they coordinated food collections at their stations and with our local schools. Over 35,000 cans of food were donated and delivered to the Voluntary Action Center/VAC food pantry.

 

Raising the Bar

Through six years of effective collaboration, Georgia County has offered a safe, nurturing school environment which empowers and cherishes all students and their families to strive to become community leaders.  In 2010, Georgia County received the Keystone Award for meeting Adequate Yearly Progress for three consecutive years.  The school moved from 33.8% Advanced and Proficient in Reading in 2006 to 46% in 2010 and from 50.9% Advanced and Proficient in Math in 2006 to 65% in 2010.  They also made AYP in the 2010-2011 school year.