Drew Porterfield and Jamie Dixon, fourth graders at Comer Elementary School, stood before the county board of commissioners Monday and offered examples of solid reading skills.
The two read a proclamation declaring March as “Child Literacy Month” in Madison County. The board of commissioners and the crowd on hand applauded the two after the reading. The BOC then approved the proclamation.
The reading accompanied a presentation by Will Mauldin and Gerry Coutant of the Madison County Rotary Club, a group that has pushed the importance of early reading in the county for several years.
Coutant noted that a child who reads well by the third grade can be expected to finish high school. Both Mauldin and Coutant emphasized that reading books enriches lives in numerous ways.
“We really want to get children to enjoy reading,” said Coutant.
Mauldin urged the commissioners and other citizens to read to children at local schools during literacy month.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s wife, Sandra, is scheduled to read to students at Comer Elementary School March 8.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
In other matters Monday, the board opened the meeting with a moment of silence for local resident Billy Smith, who passed away last week. Smith was instrumental in the creation of the county’s EMS. The moment of silence was also for Chamber of Commerce president and industrial authority executive director Marvin White and his family. White’s son, Timothy White, passed away last week. Commission chairman Anthony Dove noted that White has lost two sons.
Dove opened discussions Monday by talking about possible provisions for a gentleman who spends his days, and often nights, at Madison Memorial Park next to the county government complex. The chairman said the board will ultimately have to set hours on when people can use the park. He said he appreciates the public’s input on how to keep the man from making the park his home, while also caring for him in a compassionate way. And he hopes citizens will continue to make suggestions. On Tuesday, Dove said some family members of the man have just learned about his situation and may be able to help him.
In other matters Monday, the group approved John Sartain, Jason Black and Josh Chandler to full-time positions with the county EMS. They also agreed to add part-time employees to the EMS “call list.”
Dove said the recreation department is working to get the new soccer complex ready for the upcoming spring soccer season.
The board agreed to discuss speed limits at its March 4 meeting for Glenn Carrie Road, Van Manley Road and Williams Wilson Road.
The group heard from Hoke Strickland, who said the county needs to do something to improve the condition of CO Draper Road.
The board met in closed session to discuss “personnel.” The group is searching for a new road department director to replace long-time director Charles Temple, who resigned in December.