GAB: Children's gardening classes available

BUFORD -- A children's garden is set to open in April at Lanier Community Garden for youth in grade levels 2 through 6. Any parent interested in signing up their children can contact the organization's president.

According to a news release from Lanier Community Garden, the children's garden will offer an opportunity for local kids to learn about growing organic vegetables. A group of master gardeners and other volunteers will assist in teaching skills using the garden plot.

Classes will be offered two days per week on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.

Children will learn the technique of square foot gardening using companion planting methods like marigolds and nasturtiums to keep detrimental insects away. Volunteers also will teach the importance of helpful insects such as lady bugs as well as bees and butterflies in the garden.

Any parent interested in signing up their children can complete the required paperwork, which is available by contacting Rosalie Tubre, president of the Lanier Community Garden at rotubre@yahoo.com.

For more information, visit www.laniercommunitygarden.org.

G-Braves award February grant

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Gwinnett Braves have awarded their $1,000 grant for the month of February to the Archer High School PTSA of Lawrenceville.

The "Heart Month" themed grant, aimed at assisting organizations that bring awareness or raise funds for heart related diseases, will help fund Archer PTSA's "Heart Screens for Teens" program.

Archer High School PTSA launched the "Heart Screens for Teens" program in 2012 in order to detect potentially fatal heart defects that cannot be identified during routine physicals.

The screening, an ultrasound of the heart that takes about 15 minutes, helps identify Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) or an enlarged heart, which is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in teens. HCM is thought to affect one in 500 persons of all ages, but usually manifests itself before the age of 20. It is 100 percent detectable, and teen deaths are preventable.

After screening 60 teens in March of last year, Archer PTSA plans to screen 70 teens in 2013. The process has been updated to include an electrocardiogram (EKG) and sports physical, which will raise the price per screening from $65 to $150. The grant money awarded by the Gwinnett Braves will be used to reduce the cost of the screening for each teen. It is Archer PTSA's hope that a reduced cost will make parents more inclined to sign their teens up for the screening.

"The overall purpose of PTA is to make every child's potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children," said Lee Merritt, Co-President of Archer High School PTSA. "Local PTA units, like Archer High School PTSA, support this mission at the local level with programs that promote the health, safety, and welfare of students and families in our community. Because of the generous grant from the Gwinnett Braves, Archer PTSA can make Heart Screens for Teens more affordable, and there is no doubt, children's lives will be saved."

For information on how you can donate to "Heart Screens for Teens," contact Lee Merritt at 770 617-0295.

Gwinnett Gab appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post. To submit an item to Gwinnett Gab, email gab@gwinnettdailypost.com.