Here is our round of applause for individuals and organizations doing great things in the community.
For the first time since 2014, the Valdosta Police Department secured the trophy for the Battle of the Badges Guns vs. Hoses city blood drive against the Valdosta Fire Department. During the drive held Wednesday in Mathis City Auditorium, community members and department officials donated blood on behalf of the policemen and firefighters. Team VPD raised 32 units while Team VFD raised 29 for a total of 61 units that will be donated to the American Red Cross of South Georgia, said Ashlyn Becton, city public information officer. Terri Jenkins, Red Cross regional executive director, said the goal was to collect 60 units. Police Chief Leslie Manahan said she was confident her department would raise the most units. “The biggest thing is community support and everybody donating to save lives and giving back to the community,” she said. Guns vs. Hoses demonstrates the departments are willing to further their commitment to residents, Fire Chief Brian Boutwell said.
Valdosta-Lowndes County Family YMCA and the Lowndes County School System have been awarded the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant by the Georgia Department of Education. The grant amount of $1.1 million, during the course of five years, will be used to enhance academic achievement at Clyattville Elementary School, state school officials said. Funding is authorized under Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, and is made available for a total project period of five years, contingent upon successful implementation of the subgrant and continued availability of federal funds for each of the five fiscal years of the award, school officials said. The purpose of the 21st Century Community Learning Center program is to provide opportunities for academic enrichment and tutorial services to help students meet academic standards. The program is designed to offer students a broad array of additional services, programs and activities that reinforce and complement the regular academic program. 21st Century Community Learning Center grants also provide families an additional opportunity for active participation and meaningful engagement in their child’s education.
Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections was awarded a grant from the Digital Library of Georgia to digitize historical deeds and plats (land maps) from primarily the South Georgia region. VSU was one of six cultural heritage institutions across the state to receive the competitive digitization service grant, which will involve the Digital Library of Georgia creating digital scans of the land records. Doing so will allow VSU to make the documents, which are owned by VSU Archives, available for viewing online, university officials. The documents run from the 1700s to 1899 and represent 17 Georgia counties, from Lowndes County up to the Atlanta area. “This is a relatively hidden collection that people don’t really know we have,” said Deborah Davis, director of VSU Archives and Special Collections. “The questions we have gotten on it in the past show people are interested in these records because of genealogy and historical land use reasons. We had support letters from historians pointing out how useful these would be to historians studying Georgia history. They fit in very well with our mission to collect in the South Georgia region, and making these available online will get them used.”