With all the sorrow Columbia Countys school kids have had to endure this year, its important to point out a few of the bright spots.
One highlight - literally - is for 9-year-old Jacob White, a Blue Ridge Elementary fourth-grader whose poem, Many Bugs, is published in this months issue of Highlights magazine.
The educational publication chose Jacobs snappy poem - which uses insects as the elements of counting to 10 - from among the 35,000 or so submissions it receives every year.
I just sit and think until something comes up, Jacob said. Then I get a piece of paper and write it down after I think its a good idea.
Thinking before writing? Theres a future for this kid in the news business! Congratulations to Jacob, and to his proud parents, Michael and Susan White of Martinez.
Columbia County children and their parents have been generous in the support and outpouring of concern for our troops deployed in the war. But few of their efforts have been more poignant than that of a group of middle school boys rallying around one of their own.
The boys are rivals on middle school baseball teams, and teammates in Martinez-Evans Little League play. They came together to raise money and supplies for members of Augustas 319th Army Reserve unit when they discovered that fellow player C.J. Marshalls father is deployed in Iraq.
With the help of their parents, the kids collected boxes of items for the troops through Operation Care Package. And now theyre hoping C.J.s dad, Sgt. Walker B. Marshall Jr., will be home soon.
Its also heartening to note that children like C.J. will have an opportunity to meet fellow kids whose parents have been deployed. Thanks to the efforts of Debbie Graves, an Evans Middle parent, children of deployed soldiers are invited to meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the school.
Every now and then we hear of another kid hopping up in the barbers chair to give up their hair for other kids who need it. The latest is 5-year-old Molly McKnight, a bright Martinez kid who allowed her hair to be cut and donated to the Locks of Love organization.
Its a great charity. The Lake Worth, Fla.-based organization takes donations of hair (and money) and provide wigs for children who lose their hair because of illness. Contact Locks of Love at 1-888-896-1598, or at locksoflove.org.
And hows this for an achievement: Samantha Pruitte of Harlem took the U.S. title in her classification at last months National Archery Association Indoor National Championship.
Yet despite daily practice sessions to keep up her sharpshooting skills, 12-year-old Samantha also manages to keep her grades on the A honor roll at Harlem Middle School. Thats hitting a bulls eye!
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