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Class Notes: University of North Georgia supporting meal program in July
School helping feed kids at multiple locations
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Free meals will be provided through the remainder of the summer across North Georgia thanks to help from the University of North Georgia.

Children in eight counties will have access to the UNG-provided Summer Food Service Program, funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s Bright from the Start.

All children 18 or younger are eligible and those 19 or older who have a mental or physical disability — as determined by an educational agency — and who participate in a school program for the mentally or physically disabled are also eligible to receive meals.

In Hall County, locations include the Downey Street Boys & Girls Club and Teen Center, at 1 Positive Place, the Downey Street Boys & Girls Club at 695 Fair St. and the Walters Boys & Girls Club at 2194 Memorial Park Drive. The sites will offer breakfast and lunch from July 1-17.

RISE locations at 854 Davis St. and 695 Fair St. have served breakfast and lunch since June 8 and will continue to do so through July 23.

Greater A Manger at 960 Cooley Drive has served breakfast and lunch since June 1 and will end operation July 29. Oakwood YMCA Kids Time and Walters YMCA, at 4500 Allen Road and 2455 Howard Road, respectively, have served lunch since June 1 and will continue to do so through July. The Oakwood location will continue through July 31 and the Walters location will end operation Aug. 6.

Contact Jodi Carlyle for more information at or 678-717-3818. For information about times meals are served, contact each location.


Johnson High athlete recognized for positivity

Andrew Jones, boys soccer player at Johnson High School, was recognized for his positivity among all soccer players in North Georgia.

Gordon Higgins, communications director for Hall County Schools, said Jones received the Boys Soccer Positive Athlete of the Year Award for the region from the organization Positive Athlete Georgia.

“The idea of the award is to recognize players not just again for great athleticism, but for their team-building, character, integrity and selflessness,” Higgins said.

Jones not only plays soccer at Johnson, but he is on the Special Olympics soccer team for Hall County, and his team has won the state title four years in a row. He is also an alternate for the Special Olympics World Games Team USA kayak team.

“Every single one of us faces challenges in life, but I would say not many of us face those challenges with the same attitude this young man faces his,” said Johnson Principal Stan Lewis. “He is certainly amazing. He lives life to the fullest.”

Other area athletes recognized this year by Positive Athlete Georgia were Morgan Burgess, West Hall High School cheerleader; Tyquan Statham, West Hall football; Eduardo Figueroa, Johnson tennis; Hannah Gibson, North Hall High School tennis; Hunter Konuszewski, Flowery Branch High School basketball; Breland Stevens, North Hall golf; Molly Hayes, Johnson mountain biking; Roland Stanley, West Hall swimming; Michele Mix, Flowery Branch swimming; Gabby Castillo, Chestatee track; and Reed McGuire, Flowery Branch soccer.


Dyer invited to national education forum

Merrianne Dyer, an education consultant and former Gainesville City Schools superintendent, was recently invited to a national discussion on education policy.

Dyer will participate in a panel discussion July 1 at the National Forum on Education Policy, the annual conference of the Education Commission of the States, in Denver, Colorado.

The Education Commission of the States was created in 1965 for the purpose of lawmakers and state policymakers to “track policy, translate research, provide unbiased advice and create opportunities for state policymakers to learn from one another,” according to its website.

“I was invited to participate due to the work I am doing with districts to implement the Learning Supports System, an organizational and operational management system for schools and communities, as well as my prior experience in policy development,” Dyer said.

The Learning Supports System work is in progress in Gainesville City; Bloomington, Minnesota; Grant Parish, Louisiana;  Sumter, South Carolina; Jefferson County, Colorado; and throughout the state of Alabama with a whole state adoption. Implementation in the San Juan Unified District of California will begin in September.

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