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A New School Option in Smyrna Academy of Excellence

A New School Option in Smyrna Academy of Excellence

Safe, Innovative, Rigorous. Not exactly the first words that come to mind when you think of existing public school options. However, that is the mission of the Smyrna Academy of Excellence (SAE), a new Smyrna charter school under development: to be the most exceptionally SAFE, INNOVATIVE and RIGOROUS school in Georgia. When I first saw that, I wondered how, and began to explore what this school would offer. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the school and am highly impressed by the following aspects:

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Revenue stamped its approval on $50 million in donations under the Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program.

The program lets people and businesses get tax credit for donations to scholarships for Georgia children to attend private schools.

Fifty million dollars is the most allowed under the program. In 2012, the statewide cap on donations will increase by the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index until 2018.

Individuals can donate up to $1,000, while married couples have a donation cap of $2,500. Corporations can donate up to 75 percent of their state income tax liability.

The American Federation for Children estimated more than 6,000 students last year got scholarships to attend private schools through the program.

BEST SPOTS: Thanksgiving Alternatives

BEST SPOTS: Thanksgiving Alternatives

ATLANTA, Ga. – Thanksgiving is traditionally a holiday reserved for fellowship with family and friends. Most of us enjoy a huge meal, fight through the subsequent stomachache, hang with your favorite cousins and watch football, however, everyone doesnt enjoy turkey day in the same fashion. Some families have unique traditions that may not be consistent with, what we would call an average Thanksgiving. So, if you’re looking to change-up your routine, check out some of the ideas the “Where U Live” team put together.   

Enjoying the Now

Enjoying the Now

Lately I've found myself concerned over everything that needs to get done between now and end of January. But I feel I've missed some things my daughter has deemed important. For example, I can't tell you when she learned it's important to color inside the lines, or how she's now saying 'thank you' without me prompting her. So I’ve resolved to focus more on and enjoy the NOW. To give thanks as much as possible for these days as I won’t get them back and I’m truly thankful for them.

My daughter is 3, she’ll be 4 in January. And I’m determined to just enjoy her accomplishments and the wonders of this world through her eyes for now. We went to see Santa Claus arrive at Towne Center Mall last Friday. And being surrounded by all the excited kids, you couldn’t help but get excited too. So for this holiday season, I challenge everyone to:

  • Enjoy Now, whatever stage you or your child is in, enjoy the blessings of now.

Santa Needs Your Help

Parents are out of work, jobs are scarce, and a record level of homes are in foreclosure. Even Santa Clause has been forced to tighten his belt. Hundreds of elves have been laid off during the 2011 calendar year and Santa doesn’t have enough toys for all the children.

Can you help?

Santa is seeking elves and Christmas angels to sponsor foster children and children in need this Christmas season. Sponsors will be asked to provide $75 worth of gifts to brighten a child’s Christmas morning. Each child will receive 2 to 3 articles of clothing and 2 to 3 gifts. If you’re a bargain shopper, you don’t even have to spend $75! Others may be interested in sponsoring an entire family. Options are available for all budgets. Santa needs your help to make sure all the children on the nice list are remembered this Christmas.

For more information or to sign up, go to http://actogetherministries.org/

Task force to arm parents with tools to prevent teen drinking

Task force to arm parents with tools to prevent teen drinking

MARIETTA, Ga. -- Despite being among the top three killers of Americans under age 21, many parents do not seem to realize that underage drinking is a major problem.

The Cobb Alcohol Taskforce is partnering with the PTAs at local schools to give parents an important skill set to prevent teen drinking. A meeting for all Cobb parents will be held Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cobb Central Library.

Several local experts will give insight into this growing issue, including Cobb Alcohol Taskforce coordinator Cathy Finck.

"The brain goes through dynamic change during adolescence, and alcohol can seriously damage long and short term brain growth processes," Finck said. "The research is compelling, but more parents need to know about it. We hope arming PTAs will help get the facts and useful tips to more parents for saving teen brains."

Cobb Diaper Day to benefit families in need

Cobb Diaper Day to benefit families in need

MARIETTA, Ga. -- For low-income families with young children, a few diapers can turn into a priceless gift.

Many people do not realize that food stamps cannot be used to buy hygiene products, including diapers. The average family with small children spends about $100 a month on diapers -- an expense that some low-income families cannot afford to shoulder.