News and Notes

June 27, 2012
News and Notes

News and Notes

Green Highlands Sows Seeds on Earth Day

On Earth Day this past April, Green Highlands, GHC’s student organization that promotes green living, planted an organic vegetable garden in a 50 by 50-foot plot contributed by USG Interiors, at their headquarters in Cartersville.  Now the crops are coming in, and they will be delivered to the Good Neighbor homeless shelter and Harvest House food pantry, both in Cartersville.  Shown proudly displaying a giant zucchini squash, part of the garden’s first harvest, is Nicole Boyd, vice president for Green Highlands/Rome and the community garden chairperson.

Devan Rediger, biology lab coordinator and advisor to the organization, said the students want to show the community how easy and inexpensive it can be to live green.   The produce is grown organically without pesticides.  Rediger or the students involved water often.  So does Donnie Elrod of USG Interiors.  USG allowed GHC to use the land because the company wants to contribute to the Bartow community, but only has a small budget with which to do so.  Providing the land and helping to water the crop is a valuable way to help the community on a small budget.

The Green Highlanders planted yellow and zucchini squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, okra, bush beans, crowder peas, corn, spinach, mustard greens, a variety of different peppers, eggplant, watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkins.  Happy sunflowers line the edges of the garden.

Green Highlands has undertaken a variety of projects at the institution that promote sustainable lifestyles, including an extensive recycling program for cans, plastic bottles, and newspaper and office paper.  There are also recycle stations for batteries, printer cartridges and cellular phones.  To get green, contact Devan: drediger@highlands.edu.

Hershey, Lindberg a Hit at Writing Academy

Dr. Jon Hershey, dean of humanities, and Jessica Lindberg, lecturer in English, conducted a day-long writer’s academy for elementary through high-school students recently at the E.C.O. River Education Center at Ridge Ferry Park and at the Kelsey Aycock Burrell Center. The 100 Black Men of Rome and Northwest Georgia helped organize the day and signed up the kids.  The group completed different writing assignments during the day.  One of the most interesting was at the E.C.O. Center, where each student chose a preserved (via taxidermy) or live animal.  They had to face the animal and create a story from that animal’s point of view.  The results were funny, poignant and creative.

During the day the group learned about literary terms like simile and alliteration.  They wrote haikus and other poems.  And they had fun.  The many exercises that Hershey put them through engaged them.  Some students were serious.  Others had a keen sense of humor.  Whatever their personality, it was reflected in their writing.

At the end of the day they had quite a stack of creative writing projects.  Soon, they will have a celebration and receive a published booklet of selected work from the day.

The Writers’ Academy began in 2004 through GHC’s partnership with the 100 Black Men of Rome and Northwest Georgia.  It has been funded over the years both by the Rome Area Council of the Arts and Communities in Schools.  This year RACA provided the financial support.  Initially and for a number of years, the academy was an after-school program one hour a week.  It has taken place at various elementary schools in Rome/Floyd County.  At first it was at Anna K. Davie.  Later it expanded to Main Elementary, Southeast and West Central.  After the first few years, Lindberg joined Hershey in conducting the sessions.  GHC students have also volunteered as part of their service learning projects.  For the last several years, Brother 2 Brother members have volunteered.  B2B is an organization for minority male students, and this year, members Josh Brown and Darice Parks helped with the Writer’s Academy kids.

This is the second year that Writers’ Academy has been a day-long workshop.   The new structure has allowed students from different public schools in both the city and county to participate.  The wide range in ages is a good experience for all the students, too.  Several of the students in the 2012 academy have been previous participants.

The exercises, created by Lindberg and Hershey, were both engaging and challenging.  In all, the class completed about six or seven assignments during the day.  All participants were relaxed, interested and energetic.

The mission of Writers’ Academy is to use creative writing assignments to develop students’ writing skills, and to make the writing experience fun and pleasurable.  If the academy is successful, students will bring the skills they have learned and the joy of writing back to school the next year.  Judging by the interaction among students and teachers during this year’s academy, mission accomplished.

Criminal Justice Scholarship Awarded

Criminal Justice Scholarship check

Lamante Attuad, 2012 Community Criminal Justice Foundation president and Janice Bracken Wright, Rome Rotary’s president, present a check for the Criminal Justice Scholarship to Dr. Renva Watterson, GHC’s interim president .  The $1,500 scholarship was created by GHC professor Greg Sumner through his non-profit CCJ foundation.  Sumner created the scholarship about 10 years ago to help promising students who wanted to pursue a criminal justice degree.  The Rome Rotary Club provided the scholarship funds to the CCJ Foundation, which presented them to Georgia Highlands.

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