Banks County Opinions...

MAY 01, 2002


The Banks County News
May 01, 2002

Parents must talk to youth about sex
Twenty students at Banks County High School have children of their own. That’s right, 20 teenage girls in our county are already mothers.
The teenage pregnancy numbers are likely much higher. The 20 number is only for girls still in school. Other teens who are also already mothers likely aren’t even in school anymore.
The numbers are appalling. Reducing this figure is one of the top goals of the Family Connections program in Banks County. A teen rally has been planned in the coming weeks on this point.
While these plans are commendable, sex education must start at home. Parents must talk with their children about postponing sexual involvement and planning positive futures. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach these values and it is a responsibility that can’t be ignored.
Teenage pregnancies not only impact the mother, the child and her family, they also impact an entire community. Often-times, social services are assisting these young mothers because they don’t have the financial means to take care of themselves. This means we are all a part of this problem whether we want to be or not.
May has been declared as “Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month” by the state. Every parent should take note of this and talk to their children about this important issue, if they haven’t already.


By: Angela Gary
he Banks County News
May 01, 2002

Record your own voice in new book
With a new baby in the family, I’ve found myself looking in a different section of book stores, catalogs and websites. Instead of heading straight to travel or mysteries, I first head to the children’s section to see what’s new.
I recently discovered a new book that is sure to be a favorite of young children and their parents. It’s an especially timely find as Mother’s Day approaches.
While the subject matter of “Oh, Please Help Me Save the Tree!” is a wonderful message for young children, there is something even better about this book. It is a unique in that you can record your own voice reading the book. A battery-operated device in the back of the book allows parents and children to record their voice reading through the short, easy-to-read book.
Another unique thing that makes this book stand out is that you can record over and over it. A child can learn to read through recording the book.
Another option is for a grandparent or parent to read the book and save it as a heirloom for their child. Your voice can last forever and be handed down generation to generation.
The trademarked “Record-Your Voice” book is the first in a series of books that allow anyone to record their voice so they can read to a child in a new and unique manner.
The book is not a cassette or CD. It is a new microchip technology that has been in development for years. It is operated by a battery and fits easily into the back of the book. It isn’t cumbersome and doesn’t require a tape recorder to listen to it.
The last page of the book has a plastic sleeve for a family photograph to be placed. A great idea would be to put a photograph inside of a parent or grandparent reading to the child. This would be another special heirloom for the young child to treasure.
Author Debra Giampapa Kirwan said she wrote the book because of the importance of reading to a child. “Illiteracy is a huge problem for both children and adults,” she said. “The benefits of reading together aloud from infancy to adolescence have been proven again and again. But how can we teach a child to read, count, build good morals and self-esteem when so many hours of the day are often spent away from our children? That is what led me to write about and develop the interactive book.”
Aside from the unique recording aspect of the book, it is a wonderful story. The lessons learned include working together as a team and sharing. Children will also learn to count through reading and re-reading this book. Reading along with the recorder will also help children become better readers.
The illustrations are also sure to capture the attention of youngsters. They are all hand-painted with oil, acrylic and water color paints.
The book is available by calling 1-888-FUN-WORD or at the website,
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. She can be reached at

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Homer, Georgia
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