LAWRENCEVILLE -- Students from Sweetwater Middle School and Grand Valley State University planted a garden, installed bird feeders and painted a mural recently at Sweetwater.

It was the idea of student Charles Orgbon, who attended the school and founded Greening Forward (a nonprofit organization that helps promote, fund and increase environmental awareness). He wanted to involve his alma mater in the special program.

Orgbon and his organization are working with Grand Valley State University. The institution is a service-oriented school in Grand Rapids, Mich. Each year, it funds a trip for dozens of selectively chosen students to serve the country for an alternative spring break. Students pick up an area of interest and Greening Forward hosts the students.

Ms. Kramer's Earth Savers Club, Mr. Shannon's seventh-grade students and Mr. O'Mara's Art Club worked with the college students on the project.

The following students contributed to the beautification of Sweetwater: Dominique Smith, Keishawna Ferguson, Mariana Zambrano, Kwaku Rogers, Korey Lewis, Ahmiyah Speight, Britney Sanchez, Jacquelynn Tisder, Tatyana Williams, Elsy Garcia, Frank Gonzalez, Bryan Zavala, Tyquana Robinson, Julia Gavrilesku, Arianna Thorpe, Valeria Landaverde, Clarissa Landaverde, Cassandra Suazo, Loren Larraga, Leslie Molina, Stephany Amendares, Tiffany Trinh, Samantha Sandoval, Megan Lancaster, Chrissy Moreira, Armando Gordon, Rijad Sijacic and Owen Gause.

Local marketing education programs earn certification

SUWANEE -- Gwinnett students at three of the district's traditional high schools are now able to enroll in industry-certified marketing classes. Brookwood High, North Gwinnett High and Peachtree Ridge all earned industry certification for their marketing education programs from the American Marketing Association.

Industry certification is designed to promote high-quality instruction for students wishing to pursue postsecondary education and qualify for entry-level positions in the industry.

Industry certification is a formal process that strengthens marketing programs through a rigorous review conducted by leaders from the American Marketing Association along with business and industry.

During the process, curriculum and instruction are aligned with current industry standards to provide better career opportunities for students.

In addition to curriculum and instructional alignment, the following program components are evaluated and strengthened during the review process: lab areas, equipment, industry and community involvement, work-based learning opportunities, instructor qualifications and program safety.

The state legislature and the Georgia Department of Education are committed to the industry certification process as a part of efforts to strengthen technical and academic standards for all career, technical and agricultural education programs. Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 are provided to assist schools with the certification process.

Teachers for the programs are Cindy Bazzell of Brookwood High, Jacqueline Huffman of North Gwinnett and Yalanda Bell and Nicole Lassiter of Peachtree Ridge.

Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.

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