Irwin Family Connection Equipping At-Risk Kids for Success

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Irwin County 3rd graders holding up dictionaries

Irwin County Elementary School third-grade students show off their new dictionaries. The Dictionary Give-A-Way Project is sponsored each year by Irwin County Family Connection and the Irwin County Rotary Club.

Irwin County Family Connection
is determined to strengthen academically at-risk third- and ninth-graders there.

The local Collaborative recently participated with one of its partners, the Irwin County Rotary Club, in an annual Dictionary Give-Away Project.

According to Collaborative coordinator Laverne McConico, each year every third-grade student and their teachers at Irwin County Elementary School receive a dictionary. These special dictionaries include assorted information the students will use in almost all their subjects. Students really get excited about the Sign-Language Alphabet. More than 500 third graders have received dictionaries through this project.

“Through the Dictionary Give Away Project, Irwin County Family Connection continues to work in our strategy of providing academic support and enrichment to at-risk Irwin County Elementary students to increase school success,” said McConico. “Seeing the smiles on those third-graders’ faces when they get their own dictionaries is worth it all. It’s a joy to co-sponsor this event with the Rotary Club of Irwin County.”

Graduating at the Irwin County Teen Maze
Dr. Emethel Mizell presents Michael Wilson with a diploma at the Teen Maze.

Irwin County Family Connection is also committed to helping at-risk ninth-graders navigate the potential pitfalls of high-school life by educating them about making smart choices. In May, the Collaborative co-sponsored and led the planning of the county’s first Teen Maze.

The event is designed to give students an opportunity to see for themselves, the consequences of their decisions. Some of the 440 students from Irwin County H.S. who maneuvered through the maze found success by graduating, while others went to jail for abusing drugs or alcohol, got pregnant, or contracted a sexually transmitted disease.

The Family Connection Collaborative worked together with high school staff and students; an advisor from the Irwin County Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); local law enforcement officers; medical personnel; and judges.

Georgia Family Connection is a statewide network with a local Collaborative in all 159 counties in Georgia.

Bill Valladares
GaFCP Communications Director
404-527-7394 (x113)

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