Have children read to avoid summer ‘slide’

With summer flying by we encourage students along with their parents or guardians to make the most of the next five weeks or so that are left before school bells ring.

Many children often experience what education experts have termed the “summer slide”. This is the tendency for students, especially those from low-income families, to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous year.

Actions and words have consequences

First, let’s talk about actions.

We were seriously disappointed to learn that the Allendale County School Board took action and filed suit against the State Department of Education after State Superintendent Molly Spearman declared that district in a state of emergency and took over control.

This is a power play that has nothing to do with educating the children of Allendale County.

The board has obviously failed to set the policies and guidelines in place, and to get the right leadership in order to pull Allendale County schools out of its pit.

Our flag still waves for our freedom

The United States of America is resilient.

Take the flag that flew over Fort McHenry more than 200 years ago as a visible symbol of our country’s strength and perseverance.

American lawyer Francis Scott Key was the first witness to this truth. As he watched the continuous bombardment of the Baltimore fort by the British on September 13, 1814, Key kept watch for the flag.

As long as the flag stood, Key knew the fort and city were safe.

He wanted to be assured the American flag was still there.

It was.

New crew needs chance to make Allendale sail

Sometimes tough decisions have to be made in order to bring about a positive change.

Such is the case earlier this week when State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman declared a “State of Emergency” in the Allendale County School District.

It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was a necessary one, she said, after thinking about what is in the best interest of the district’s students.

We concur.

There’s plenty to do locally this summer

Summer is here and many students are ready for a much-needed break.

However, we encourage students to stay active – both physically and mentally – this summer so they can avoid the “summer slide”. This is a term education professionals use to describe how students, especially those who come from low-income families, tend to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year.

You worked hard all school year to learn and grow, so don’t let that work be in vain.

Hurricane season to be above normal - are you prepared?

Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year.

Last year produced 5 land-falling storms, including Matthew that caused $10 billion in damage and killed 34 people in the U.S. and 551 in the Caribbean. It was one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes on record.

Graduates: Big things come from small areas

Dear graduates,

First, we want to congratulate you all on your achievement! From kindergarten through high school, and some through college, you have studied, memorized, calculated, analyzed and recited. You have been tested (and retested), scored and graded.

Now you have reached the final week of school.

Wow. It seems like standing at the edge of a canyon, feeling the wind on your face and having the urge to fly like the birds around you.

Pay homage this holiday

On Monday, May 29, there will be a lot of celebrations. It’s a holiday! It’s graduation weekend! It’s the start of summer!

But Memorial Day is more than all that - much more.

It is a time to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend the United States of America.

In Barnwell County, a Memorial Day service will be held at the Veterans Memorial Park at 10 a.m.

It is our hope that many in our community will take the time to attend the service and spend a little time remembering what the holiday is all about.

School board elections need to be in November

Elections are a vital part of our democracy. They are also costly and not always well-attended by voters.

That’s why we believe it’s time for a change in Barnwell County.

We encourage our three public school districts to follow the example of other districts across the state by doing away with the stand-alone election that has been the norm locally for so long. It’s time to merge the annual school board elections with the general election held in November every other year.

Good weekend to support good causes

This weekend presents several opportunities to have a good time for a good cause.

The annual Relay for Life is set for this Friday, May 12 from 6 p.m. to midnight. This year’s event is being held on the Allendale-Fairfax High School football field due to the merger of Allendale and Barnwell County’s events.

This is a great, fun way to raise money for the American Cancer Society to fund cancer awareness and research!

Public needed to be helpers, not hindrance

What’s the recipe for a thriving, successful community?

Crime, violence and a lack of cooperation are definitely not the right ingredients.

Unfortunately, some are trying to taint the community we love and call home. With four shootings and the firing of Barnwell’s police chief, it’s been a trying week in Barnwell County.

In some of the shooting cases, the victims and witnesses are not cooperating with police. No one saw anything or knows anything that can prove helpful in solving the case.

Look behind the closed doors and help

April highlights two important issues that affect our community – sexual assault and alcohol abuse.

The severity and impact of these issues may not be truly realized by most people since a lot of it occurs behind closed doors. However, sexual assault and alcohol abuse impact many people across the globe, including families here in Barnwell County.

Turnout needed for school board elections locally

Next Tuesday is an important date for Barnwell County’s registered voters.

It’s not a national or state election, but it is just as important – maybe more - as several school board seats will be decided on Barnwell County’s three public school boards.

Electing school board members is very important because they directly impact your child’s education by setting policy, adopting a budget and hiring key positions like the superintendent.

Unfortunately, school board elections aren’t typically known for large turnouts.

Now you see it, now it’s different

Residents attending the Barnwell County Council meeting recently were treated to a magic show.

Now you see it, now it’s different.

The Barnwell County Council held third reading of an ordinance on March 14 which gave them the authority to move all property and assets away from the Economic Development Corporation.

The same ordinance also took away all power except advisory from those serving on the Barnwell County Economic Development Commission.

There’s lots to do if people show up

“There is nothing to do in Barnwell County.”

“Our children need positive outlets to be involved with.”

We have heard these statements – or at least ones very similar – from numerous people over the years.

While our small, rural community lacks some of the amenities and resources that are abundant in larger areas, some recent opportunities show there might be more to the issue.

The problem is a lot of times people simply do not support the initiatives and events Barnwell County does have to offer.

Teen Summit, Anti-Bullying Spirit Week give hope, help

Being a teenager can be quite difficult.

From peer pressure and trying to fit in to juggling school, work and extra-curricular activity commitments and making plans for the future, the teenage years can seem very overwhelming.

However, with guidance, determination and a willingness to listen to adults who want to help, there is hope.

The Axis 1 Center of Barnwell is a great local resource for many folks. This Saturday they are partnering with several community organizations to sponsor the inaugural Barnwell County Teen Summit.

Nothing good will come from EDC ordinance

In January we begged the question of “Why now?” with regards to some Barnwell County Council members’ move to dissolve the Economic Development Corporation and turn the commission into an advisory committee.

In February, in a split 5-2 vote, the Barnwell County Council approved second reading of that ordinance. Next week, third reading is expected to be held on Tuesday, March 14. That will be the final vote to make that ordinance effective.

Hearts and efforts need training

There are several efforts underway by the Barnwell County Emergency Management Division (EMD) in cooperation with other organizations to help save lives and provide comfort in the event of an emergency.

During an emergency, time is a critical factor. In widespread disasters, such as ice storms and hurricanes, the professionals are called out to several locations. Just getting to the scene may take time due to blocked roads from downed trees or washed out highways.

This is where local, trained volunteers can make a huge differnce.


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