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Patrice Westbrooks, outreach coordinator at St. Paul United Methodist on Summit Street in Gainesville, assists parents with sign-in and registration at the church's annual Back-To-School Supplies Give Away. Around 30 volunteers from the church helped give haircuts for mothers and their children. St. Paul's will continue passing out book bags through August. To donate school supplies, contact the church at 770-536-4910.

The Spirit of Joy Church in Flowery Branch has been awarded a $2,500 grant by the Jackson EMC Foundation for its food pantry. The food pantry served more than 1,400 people in 2006 and nearly 1,600 in 2007. Grant funds will be used to purchase food.

Gainesville's Center Point Mentor Program has been awarded a $5,000 grant by the Jackson EMC Foundation to recruit, train and place mentors in Gainesville city and Hall County schools. The goal of the Mentor Program is to increase school attendance and success by providing one-on-one support and encouragement for at-risk students, according to Executive Director David L. Smith. Adult volunteers receive two hours of training, undergo a background check and are placed in the city or county schools of their choice. Trained mentors help school attendance and provide developmental assets in order for at-risk students to be successful.

The Quinlan Visual Arts Center, The Bagwell Family Foundation, the Marta Chapman Foundation and the Quinlan Art League supplied scholarships for the Quinlan Visual Arts Center's 2008 art camp, My Life, My Story, My Art . The camp allows children to learn about art and art history and to participate in hands-on creative activities. The following students were awarded full scholarships to the Quinlan Visual Arts Center's summer art camp program, My Life, My Story, My Art:

Hayley Mitchell Baird, Claire Caston, Shelbi Chandler, Sarah Durrence, Francisco Euyoque, Kayla Gould, Morgan Helton, Maggie Hodson, Vincent Hodson, Hannah Hudgins, Alex Anne Jennings, Maggie Beth Jennings, Lindsey Johnson, Courtney Kelley, Chelsea Kinney, Nathan Kinney, Erika Kinney, Madi Grace Kiser, Elle Randall Lee, Ansley Louis, Ryleigh Louis, Karina Lozano, Rudy Marceleno, Anna Marshall, Emily McConnell, Natalie Naranjo, Jordy Page, Luke Piper, Lauren Piper, Isabella Robbins, Olivia Robbins, Emily McGarr, Lauren Wilbanks, Logan Smith, Philip Stanley, Fatimatou Thiam, Asta Thiam, Kaitlyn Threlkeld, Karli Tipton, Ellie Smith, Jonathan Williams, Brianna Boucher, John Cross, Marissa Driggers, Christopher Hamilton, Clair Holbrook, Livie Holbrook, Alex Pagano, Trevor Reilly, Johnny Santos, Justin Skaggs and Rebecca Anne Harris.

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