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Newton Education Foundation supports book bus
Almon Turner (center), chair for the Newton County School System (NCSS) Board of Education, accepts a donation from Loucy Hay, chair for the Newton Education Foundation (right of Turner), to support the NCSS Book Bus. (Photo courtesy of Sherri Davis-Viniard) (Submitted Photo | The Covington News)

COVINGTON, Ga. - Loucy Hay, chair for the Newton Education Foundation, presented a big check to the Newton County School System (NCSS) Board of Education (BOE) May 9. The check for $5,000 will support the purchase of books for the NCSS Book Bus program.

The Book Bus program was launched in 2015. During periodic runs the bus stops at various locations to give free books to Newton County children. The next run is scheduled for May 31 and June 1.

In making the presentation, Hay told the BOE, “You absolutely hit it out of the park when you decided to put the Book Bus on the road. It’s a wonderful tangible way to provide books to the families in our community who need them the most.”

“I speak for my fellow foundation board members when I say we look forward to watching the Book Bus program grow,” added Hay. “Children need books in their homes and we need literate households in our community. We appreciate the opportunity to fund something that has such a profound impact on the children in our community.”

The Newton Education Foundation was formed in 2009 as a charitable, not-for-profit foundation dedicated to raising funds to support the NCSS.

The Foundation’s board of directors recently has expanded. It also has adopted two goals for the next three years. “First, we will support your goal of increasing early childhood literacy,” said Hay. “Second, we will support your goal of increasing technical literacy and writing proficiency.”

Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS superintendent, noted, “We are so proud of the work the Newton Education Foundation has done and the support they have provided the school system; not only this year for in previous years as well.”

In other action at its May 9 meeting, the BOE adopted a tentative 2017-2018 budget. That budget soon will be posted in the Covington News along with information about how citizens can obtain a copy for review and address the BOE with any thoughts or concerns. The BOE will vote to approve next year’s budget at its June 27, 2017 meeting. Citizens may comment on the budget or other matters at any BOE meeting.

The BOE also acted to approve contracts for painting services with work to be done this summer at Clements Middle, Veterans Memorial Middle, and Middle Ridge Elementary schools. A contract was approved with A&D Painting, Inc., for the work at Clements Middle in the amount of $74,600. A second contract was awarded to JNA Painting and Contracting Company, Inc., for the work at the other two schools. The total value of that contract is $103,819.

Renewable annual contracts with Ozburn Electrical Contractors, Inc., for electrical services and with Gas South for natural gas were approved. The former is valued at $125,000; the latter at $70,000.

Finally the BOE acted to approve one rescinded resignation and three new hires for the current school year as well as three retirements and 36 resignations. It also approved the hiring of 27 new teachers and three staff members as well as the transfer of five employees for the 2017-2018 school year.

Fuhrey and her team presented seven items for the BOE to consider and act on at its next meeting. These included: contracts with individuals to provide physical therapy and occupational therapy services to students with disabilities; contracts with providers for speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision, and deaf/hard of hearing services for students with disabilities; a service agreement with Medical Provider Services for Medicaid billing and administrative services; renewable contracts with Howard Technology Solutions, Inc., for the purchase of interactive projectors and with Dell Marketing, L.P., for Microsoft licenses; renewal of five different contracts for the purchase of uniforms, kitchen equipment, produce and eggs, bread and associated items, and ice cream by the School Nutrition Program; and disposal of surplus equipment.