Good news from schools: Sweetwater Middle recognized for promoting drug-free schools

Sweetwater Middle has received national recognition for its exemplary use of an advisement program that promotes a safe and drug-free school.

The Lawrenceville school received the Jeff L. Townsend Award for its use of "Second Step," a national program composed of advisement lessons embedded in academics, according to the school district.

As part of classroom instruction, the advisement program teaches students skills such as cooperation and problem solving. Children also develop empathy and interpersonal skills. These skills create a safe and drug-free learning environment when children apply them in or outside the classroom.

"Advisement is a critical area for middle school success," Sweetwater Middle Principal Georgann Eaton said. "This grant will allow us to expand our program, helping our students develop in these important adolescent years."

The only Georgia recipient of this year's award, Sweetwater Middle received a grant of $1,000 to be used toward expansion of the program. Sweetwater Middle implemented Second Step three years ago.

Gwinnett DECA chapters raise money for cystic fibrosis

Thirteen Gwinnett high school DECA chapters gathered recently at Oasis Bowl in Buford to celebrate their fundraising success.

The chapters have been raising money for more than 15 years for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This year, they have raised more than $8,000 for the foundation.

One fundraising plan was to sell bright orange paper pumpkins to classmates. The pumpkins sold for $1 each, and more than 5,000 were sold.

The DECA chapters are also long-time participants in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Annual Bowl for Breath Bowling Tournament.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that causes mucus to build up and clog some of the organs in the body, particularly the lungs and pancreas. When mucus clogs the lungs, it can make breathing very difficult. Bacteria can also get stuck in the airways, which can cause inflammation and infections that lead to lung damage.

For more information, visit www.cff.org.

Norcross High hosting college fair

Norcross High School will host a College Fair from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 13.

Representatives from more than 50 colleges and universities - including Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama, the University of South Carolina, Vanderbilt University and Auburn University - will be available in the school's commons area to speak with students and parents. Norcross High is located at 5300 Spalding Drive in Norcross.

There will also be a representative from the Georgia Student Finance Commission to discuss the HOPE Scholarship in addition to the financial aid process.

A complete list of attending colleges and universities will be available on the school's Web site at www.norcrosshigh.org.

For more information, call the Norcross High School Counseling Department at 770-447-2648.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.