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Class Notes: Centennial wins Reading Bowl state title
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The Centennial Arts Academy team from Gainesville won the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl State Championship on Saturday in Athens.

The team of fourth- and fifth-graders is coached by media specialist Kathy Anglin and fifth-grade teachers Dallas Thompson and Kelly Kennedy. The Gainesville team also was awarded for best team essay in the elementary school division.

It was the first appearance for Centennial Arts Academy in the state championship. The Reading Bowl is open to students in grades 4 through 12 statewide.

Report places Georgia pre-K above national standards

Participating in Georgia’s prekindergarten program improves the likelihood of children succeeding in math, language and literacy later in their school careers.

The report, released by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, showed average scores for children who participated in Georgia’s pre-K program were above the national average on measures of language, literacy and math skills.

“These findings are strong and attest to the impact of Georgia’s signature early education program and the great work performed by our teachers every day,” Department of Early Care and Learning Commissioner Bobby Cagle said in a news release. “The findings concerning literacy are especially important, as they suggest that foundational reading skills are taught in our classrooms.

“While studies like these, showing that Georgia is laying a solid foundation for future learning, are gratifying, they also reveal areas where we can continue to enhance our services,” he added.

More information, including the full text of the report, can be found at online.

Hall board of education changes work session time

The Hall County board of education will have a work session at 4:30 p.m. today, instead of the usual 5 p.m. time.

The time change is to allow for the school board’s scheduled retreat, which will begin around 5:30 p.m. The agenda includes a review of district goals and presentations from some of the local schools about their programs.

The work session and subsequent retreat will take place at the district’s central office, at 711 Green St., Gainesville.

Georgia Department of Agriculture opens applications for school nutrition program

Feed My School, which launched in 2011, is now accepting new school applications.

The program aims to provide more nutritional value and higher quality-food in schools across Georgia, with a goal of healthier students.

According to information through the Georgia Department of Agriculture, around 37 percent of the state’s students are overweight or obese.

Wauka Mountain Multiple Intelligences Academy in the Hall County School District participates, and was one of the pilot schools for the program in the 2011-12 school year.

“We did it differently this year by using Georgia-grown foods throughout the year,” Principal Jo Dinnan said.

The deadline for schools to apply is April 3. More information can be found at online.

Carly Sharec covers education issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: