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BCREA gets history lesson, BOE Update

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Native Americans

A lesson in American history by retired educator Susie Jacobs, an update on the progress of the Brantley County School System by Dr. Angela Haney, assistant superintendent and director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the county schools and a time of delightful, inspiring and amusing entertainment by talented pre-schoolers were all enjoyed by members of the BCREA Wednesday during a meeting held at Hoboken Elementary School.

Special guests who addressed those attending included State Rep. John Corbett and Sen. Mike Hodges, who will be returning to Atlanta in January to serve in the next session of the Georgia General Assembly.

Jacobs talked about the pilgrims and stories of the first Thanksgiving. Years ago, students and teachers were given two days off for the holiday but today, Jacobs pointed out, it takes a whole week.

"I hope we continue this for future generations," said Jacobs, who pointed out that 53 pilgrims and nine native Americans were in attendance for the first celebration that lasted three days.

"I thank God for his blessings," said Jacobs. She noted that in 1789 President George Washington initiated Thanksgiving, then in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the celebration would be held on the last Thursday of November. In 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a law making Thanksgiving day the fourth Thursday of November after the Act of Congress was approved.

She read a poem, "Count your Blessings."

"Count your blessings instead of your crosses;

Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your joys instead of your woes;

Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your smiles instead of your tears;

Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your full years instead of your lean;

Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth,

Love your neighbor as much as yourself."

Dr. Haney, who has been in Brantley for 25 years, said Brantley County has five schools that are Title I Distinguished Schools and the highest SAR scores in reading and writing. She praised Dr. Kim Morgan, superintendent, for the "great job" she is doing with the school system and gave updates on new construction at Brantley Middle and Waynesville Primary. There are 10 new classrooms and Hoboken and plans are in the works for a new gymnasium, new band room, chorus room and expanded weight room at Brantley County High, as well as a fishing team and a 220-member marching band.

"We have also improved security and have SRO's at all seven school sites," said Haney.

Corbett thanked the group for allowing him to be the county's state representative for the coming term. He was first elected to the Georgia House in 2015 after serving 12 years on the Echols County Board of Education and working in a paper mill. His district covers Lowndes, Echols, Clinch, Ware, Charlton and Brantley Counties.

Corbett spoke about the $30 billion budget and commended Gov. Brian Kemp for his leadership in keeping the state's economy going.

"For nine years, Georgia has been named the best state to do business with," said Corbett. He also handed out his phone number and invited anyone with questions to call him.

Hodges told the group the House of Representatives is in good hands with the people who are elected to service, especially Corbett. Hodges, who represents Sen. District 3, pointed out that "... education is the single most important thing that we do. Education should be a local issue."

Several pre-schoolers dressed in native American attire including burlap and feathered head dress, performed patriotic songs for the audience and were given a standing ovation at their end of their performance.

After the meeting, those attending were invited to the lunchroom to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal with students, teachers and parents.

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