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MARCH 30, 2018
Tifton, Georgia

478-227-7126

'DREAMS DO COME TRUE'
LEN LASTINGER PRIMARY SCHOOL PTO CREATING
NEW OUTDOOR  EDUCATIONAL PLAY SPACE

By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine

A project designed  to extend the classroom experience outdoors with an "interactive, all-inclusive play park" is underway at Len Lastinger Primary School.

Spearheaded by the school's Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), the $85,000 project is being financed through fundraisers, a playground equipment grant and contributions from many volunteers and businesses.

The "Play. Learn. Grow. -- Building Our Dream Playground" project wants outdoor play to be  considered an "integral part of the curriculum/learning experience," the PTO says. 

The play area is being designed to meet the needs of all types of students and to extend the classroom experience outdoors.

Playgrounds are "not all about slides and swings anymore," says Sharon Nixon, co-chair with Debby Monfort of the PTO's grants/playground committee.

The master plan for the play area includes new p layground equipment; i nclusive play/learning areas accessible for all  students, including those with physical challenges; s tencils placed on concrete areas to include such items as a U.S. map, an alphabet border and hopscotch and tic-tac-toe squares; an outdoor multipurpose site where classes could be conducted and theatrical plays could be presented; and additional green space for children to play traditional outdoor games and to run and play creatively.

The PTO, in a Powerpoint presentation, says benefits of the project could  include i mproving cognitive function and focus in the classroom, building  21st century social skills (creativity, collaboration, problem-solving), proactively addressing  obesity and bullying, creating a f un 
environment to relieve stress, and presenting an e ngaging way to deliver educational curriculum.
An example of a stencil at a playground.
Monfort said a funding drive for new playground equipment began in 2015. Last year, the school was one of five nationwide to win a $20,000 grant for new equipment

"We began researching the best way to use the funds raised," Monfort said. "We want to maximize the benefits than can be derived from a playground.

Focus groups were held with parents, students and teachers to create "their dream playground."

"This will be a  playground  created by the students, parents and faculty. Their ideas; their dreams. The focus groups challenged its participants to reconsider how they thought about play," Monfort  said.

The project is a true collaboration of all stakeholders, Nixon and Monfort said. School Principal Richard Fisher and the Tift County Board of Education have "given us their blessing to proceed."

The project began in earnest about 18 months ago. Nixon said, "We would love to finish it out by the end of this school year -- we would like to put an exclamation point on this." She said the PTO hopes the project will be an example that will be replicated at other Tift County schools.

Lastinger students have learned several lessons  through the project, including the power of team work, of hard work, and that "the sky's the limit," Nixon said.

"Dreams do come true," added Monfort.

LEE ANN WOMACK IN THE HOUSE

Country music star Lee Ann Womack performed Wednesday to a sold-out Tift Theatre. At right she poses with Kirsten McAlpin, left, and concert promoter Austin McAlpin of Tifton.


 TIFTON'S LARRY DEAN FINDS SUCCESS IN CANADIAN FOOTBALL

Professional  football player  Larry Dean , a  Tifton native , recently  re-signed a contract with the  Hamilton Tiger-Cats of Ontario, a Canadian Football League (CFL) team.

Dean, 29, a linebacker, earned East Division All-Star honors last season with the Tiger-Cats,
Larry Dean, No. 49 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
and was named Hamilton's Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Defensive Player. He had 96 defensive tackles, three special teams tackles, three quarterback sacks, eight quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, five pass knock-downs and one tackle for a loss in 18 games in 2017 with the Tiger-Cats. 

The 6-0, 226-pound Dean finished tied for second in the CFL in forced fumbles and was fourth in defensive tackles.   Some sportswriters called Dean the best middle linebacker in the league last season.

Before his arrival in the CFL, the Valdosta State standout appeared in 61 career National Football League games with the Minnesota Vikings (2011-13) and Buffalo Bills (2014),
LARRY DEAN
registering 37 defensive tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In 2012, Dean was one of only 11 special teams players on the NFC's Pro Bowl ballot.

In 2011, Dean  started the Larry Dean Foundation in Tifton,  emphasizing youth development, using basketball and football among its platforms. 

"I understand that being a professional, you have a platform you can really use to influence," Dean told the Ottawa Sun newspaper last week

"There are a lot of kids who need a father figure or need the stability that sport provides. You might think twice about doing something negative if you know you have teammates and coaches are counting on you.These are kids from my neighborhood. Most of them don't come from the picture-perfect world, the two-parent household where everything is peaches and cream," Dean said.

" Some of my friends and peers went the other route. I'm not too far removed from that; I understand it. They see me as a professional, and they know that dreams are attainable."


COMPANY RECOGNIZES
TIFTON DISTRIBUTION CENTER
FOR HURRICANE SUPPORT

Orgill Inc.'s Tifton Distribution Center was recently honored for its role in getting needed supplies to Caribbean Islands  devastated by  hurricanes Irma and Maria last fall.

CTL Home Centers thanked Orgill's Tifton team for going above and beyond the call of duty during those natural disasters. When the storms  tore through the Caribbean, residents in areas such as the British Virgin Islands turned to their local hardware stores and home centers
From left, Josh Revels, Orgill export tech; Wayne Paramore, Orgill shipping manager; Michael Thomas with CTL Home Centers.
as  resources  to  prepare for the storms and for   rebuilding in their aftermath.
                 
For the team at CTL Home Centers, which has two locations in the British Virgin Islands, their ability to provide their communities with the products and support they needed to weather these back-to-back natural disasters hinged on the ability of their distribution partner, Orgill, to deliver supplies.
                  
Despite the logistics and weather-related challenges posed by getting the needed shipments from Orgill's distribution facility in Tifton to the island, the team at Tifton was up to the task.
                  
"Before, during and after the storms, CTL became somewhat of a community center for the local residents in need of supplies," said Jerry Cardwell, Orgill's senior vice president of international sales. "CTL rose to the occasion to help its community during this challenging season. The plaque was a very gracious way for the CTL team to thank the crew from our Tifton Distribution Center for making sure they had the products they needed to support these efforts."

 

'NIGHT OF BROADWAY MUSIC' SET APRIL 3

One of the more popular First Tuesday Concert events of the year will be on April 3 when Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College presents "A Night of Broadway Music" at 7 p.m. in the Chapel of All Faiths

"In the past, we have often had a standing room-only crowd at this event because everyone loves to hear the Broadway tunes," said Dr. Susan Roe, head of the ABAC Department of Fine Arts and the First Tuesday program director.

Roe will lend her voice along with ABAC faculty members Brian Ray and Marti Schert. Other performers include past and present ABAC music majors as well as alumni and music educators Daniel Gibson and Katelyn Payne Gibson.

The concert is free and open to the public.


TIFTON-TIFT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
RIBBON CUTTING

American Cancer Society
March 27

'GLORY DAYS'
Kyle Farnsworth memorabilia to be exhibited

A new exhibit spotlighting the "Glory Days" of athletics at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will open its Museum Gallery doors April 7 in time for Homecoming 2018 and the annual Folklife Festival at ABAC's Ga. Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village
Ex MLB player Kyle Farnsworth items at the exhibit.

"This is a really special event since we will be celebrating our 40th significant exhibition hosted by the GMA Gallery since its opening in 2010," said Polly Huff, curator and assistant museum director. 

The "Glory Days" exhibit features memorabilia including a collection of baseball gear from former major leaguer and ABAC alumnus Kyle Farnsworth and pictures from Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.

"The original Golden Stallion statue will be the centerpiece of the exhibit," Huff said. "Anyone who loves sports and history is going to love this exhibit. Some of the artifacts will be on display for the very first time, while others will bring back fond memories of beloved ABAC groups such as The Fabulous Golddusters dance team and the 1982 State Championship Basketball Team.

"Some of the photos and artifacts date back to the early 1900s and the Second District A&M School." 

The exhibit will remain on display until July 5.

 

WHO WILL BE ADDED TO 'BOOK OF GOLDEN DEEDS'?
 
The Exchange Club of Tifton is seeking nominees for the 65th annual awarding of the Book of Golden Deeds,  recognizing community volunteers who give endless hours and their talents toward making their communities better.  

This is the longest running project of the Exchange Club of Tifton and the national Exchange Club. 
 
"This is quite a  big honor for a  Tiftonite ," said Regenia Wells, co-chairman of the program. "They will join an elite group of individuals that have helped to make Tifton what it is today." 
 
Wells said nomination letters by friends, family or coworkers are needed. It is best when the letter is from an individual, instead of a group. The letter should include information about how the nominee is helping people and programs in the community.
 
The deadline for sending letters of nomination is April 13. Letters should be mailed to the Exchange Club of Tifton, P.O. Box 1621, Tifton, GA 31793, or emailed to spearmanagency@friendlycity.net with the subject "Exchange Club Golden Deeds."
 
The recipient will be honored at the Golden Deeds banquet on Monday, May 7. For information, call Angela Elder at 229-386-0216



DAY OF ACTION: In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April,
Ruth's Cottage and The Patticake House in Tifton is asking folks to observe "Wear Teal Day" on Tuesday, April 3. ... GOSPEL BENEFIT: The 8th Annual Artist Showcase gospel concert is at 5 p.m, Saturday, April 7. The concert benefits scholarships through the Bishop Alton Litman Foundation. Beulah Hill  Missionary Baptist Church will host the showcase at 512 W. 23rd St. ...  KEEP ON TRUCKING:  Kerrie Wilson of Tifton program chair for
WILSON
Commercial Truck   Driving  (CDL) at Southern Regional Technical College , has been elected by her peers to  serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving  Schools at its annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. ...  WORKIN' FOR PEANUTS: The Georgia  Peanut Commission board of directors has approved $581,896 in research project funding . The research projects approved include 34 project proposals submitted from the University of Georgia and the USDA Agricultural Research Service . ... FREE ART: The Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage is holding a free arts session for children, ages six-12, from 2-5 p.m.  Tuesday, April 3 . Registration required by Clicking Here .


STUDENTS GET HANDS-ON LEARNING

Bringing the real world to the classroom:  Students in the careers class at Eighth Street Middle School in Tifton were recently given the opportunity to get an up-close look at an Air Evac helicopter and talk to its team about what it's like to be a healthcare professional in the skies.

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. ..at a Glance

FRIDAY, MARCH 30
  • Good Friday

SATURDAY, MARCH 31
  • 'Don't Say Yes to Stress,' Sister 2 Sister Workshop, 10 a.m.-noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Easter Egg Drop, 11 a.m.-2p.m., Journey Church, Tifton

SUNDAY, APRIL 1
  • Happy Easter
In Memoriam
BowenDonaldson

MARCH 22
Lillie "Evelyn" Webb, 88, Tifton
Bobby Eugene Dean, 80, Chula

MARCH 23
Kathryn Waddell Guy, 70, Fitzgerald
Aline Heberlie, 67, Moultrie

MARCH 24
Roger Patrick Lowery, 68, Wray
Mary Helen Lee, 67, Ocilla
Sandra Kaye Murphy, 60, Adel

MARCH 25
James "Jim" Henry Champion, 90, Tifton
Albert Lee "Buster" Lucas, 63, Tifton
Elizabeth "Gayle" Hollis Cox, 71, Valdosta
Carlton Andrew Collins, 68, Fitzgerald
Clinton "Clint" Edward Britt Jr., 50, Cordele

MARCH 26
Thuy Thi Luke, 67, Enigma
Gail Elaine Apperson Harris, 71, Tifton
Edwin Derring Gaskins, 96, Alapaha

MARCH 27
James "Laverne" Bennett, 73, Enigma
Zachary Allen Brooks, 57, Nashville
Norma Laverne Reed, 80, Tifton
Wendell Luke, 59, Worth County
Montez "Susie" Fausett, 99, Adel

MARCH 28
Janice Laverne Barker Coker, 73, Brewton, Ala.
Janelle Costley Housworth, 82, Tifton
Merelyne Walker Ray, 84, Nashville
Annetta Carrol Brady, 54, Alapaha
Tammie Brewer, 49, Ty Ty

MARCH 29
Herman E. McDaniel, 77, Tifton
Brenda Claudette Montgomery Smith, 78, Ty Ty
Marlene Rountree VanBrackle, 77, Adel

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FRANK SAYLES JR.
Editor & Publisher

iheardit@tiftongrapevine.com

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478-227-7126