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GOOD NEWS FROM SCHOOLS: Gwinnett gets AT&T grant to fund success initiatives

Special Photo. Mrs. Reed's fourth-grade class at Duncan Creek Elementary won the pumpkin school decorating contest with their Winn-Dixie dog submission.

Special Photo. Mrs. Reed's fourth-grade class at Duncan Creek Elementary won the pumpkin school decorating contest with their Winn-Dixie dog submission.

Gwinnett County Public Schools students will have additional support to help them successfully complete high school and prepare for college, thanks to a contribution from the AT&T Foundation to the Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation Fund Inc.

The $10,000 grant will help continue funding the school system's high school success initiatives. The grant will focus on early intervention for 9th and 10th grade students to improve the graduation rate in Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Currently housed at Phoenix High, with plans to expand the program to all GCPS high schools, Operation Graduation Credit Recovery is a teacher-guided, self-paced computerized performance-based project to help students get back on track for graduation.

The program increases the number of Carnegie unit academic credits accumulated by students as required by the state, increases the rate of on-time promotion to the next grade level, encourages regular attendance, and helps students complete high school in a timely manner.

Teachers serve as mentors and counselors work to eliminate the need for the General Equivalency Diploma by ensuring students are positioned to graduate on time and with the academic basis for success.

"Support of graduation success addresses a critical milestone that is imperative to the future of a young person and to the overall success of our communities." said Delores Crowell of AT&T Corp.'s external affairs. "We are pleased to support this worthy and necessary project in Gwinnett schools."

This is not the first time AT&T has partnered with Gwinnett County Public Schools to enrich the education of Gwinnett children. Most recently, the organization donated $20,000 to fund a science lab at Freeman's Mill Elementary. In 2008, AT&T contributed $169 million nationwide through corporate, employee and AT&T Foundation giving programs.

Fourth-graders win school pumpkin decorating contest

Duncan Creek Elementary recently held its annual pumpkin decorating contest. Students decorate pumpkins to look like book characters.

The winning pumpkin was created by Mrs. Reed's fourth-grade class. The students decorated their pumpkin like the dog Winn-Dixie in "Because of Winn-Dixie."

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