Roses and thorns 5-17-09

May 17, 2009



Roses to community members who contributed to last week''s National Association of Letter Carriers food drive. 


In today''s tough economy, more and more people need help keeping food in their pantries. 


Last Saturday, area residents donated more than 3,000 pounds of non-perishable food, leaving the materials for their mail carriers to pick up when they delivered the mail. 


Letter carriers throughout Lowndes County collected the items to benefit United Way agencies. 


Helping Hands, Community Resource Connection, Recovery House and The Salvation Army were some of the agencies to benefit from the food drive, along with food programs at First Assembly of God James Cook Food Pantry, Columbus Christian Center, New Hope Bread of Life Fellowship and Safe Haven. 


The letter carriers'' food drive, now in its 17th year, usually brings in more than 4,000 pounds of food. United Way of Lowndes County Executive Director Jan Ballard said she was prepared for a slight dip in donations this year. The agency, as a whole, has had less contributions during this year''s campaign than in years past. 


For more information on the United Way or to give, contact Ballard at 662-328-0943. 




Roses to the Sandfield Horizon Committee for another successful year of fun and history at the 10th annual Eighth of May Emancipation Day celebration. 


Roses also go out to St. Paul''s Episcopal Church, who also celebrated the occasion with its traditional chicken salad luncheon, the first event to commemorate May 8, 1865, the day federal troops rode into Columbus to announce the abolishment of slavery. 


Hundreds poured into the Sandfield area last Saturday for the festival, which celebrates the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.  


A year after the announcement, Columbus residents celebrated the city''s first Eighth of May celebration, with an "Eight ''O May" luncheon; the tradition continued the Friday before the Sandfield event, which began 10 years ago. 




A rose to Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science history teacher Chuck Yarborough, who received the Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board''s inaugural Award for Excellence in the Use of Historical Records in Grades K-12 for "Tales from the Crypt." 


The award was presented at the biennial meeting of the Society of Mississippi Archivists in Long Beach, April 23. 


Tales from the Crypt explores local history, from beyond the grave, as MSMS students research long-passed Columbus residents. They then resurrect them from the dead by standing near their gravestones in Friendship Cemetery and performing a dramatic re-enactment of their lives. 


A scholar of local history, Yarborough also leads the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau''s African-American Heritage tour, unveiling the lives of early black settlers in Columbus. His research continues to enlighten us about the rich history right in our own backyard. 




A rose to parents and teachers at Sale Elementary International Studies Magnet School and Stokes-Beard Communication and Technology Magnet School, for their overwhelming support of a proposed 11-month calendar. 


The two schools will begin the new schedule in the fall, adding 18 "success academy" days to the traditional 181-day school year and running from Aug. 5 to June 17. 


The extra days will give high-performing students a chance for enrichment programs while low-performers will get personalized remediation during the course of the school year. 


While parents and teachers at other elementary schools and Hunt had majority support for the calendar, city school leadership wanted higher approval ratings before adding the extended calendar. 


We hope to see the other elementary schools adopt the program in the future.