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Career Academy looks to catch Ford PAS

POSTED: January 27, 2011 10:18 p.m.
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Effingham Career Academy CEO Evonne Mobley, school board members Mose Mock, Vickie Decker, Chairman Lamar Allen and Troy Alford, Effingham Superintendent Randy Shearouse, state Rep. Ann Purcell, state Sen. Jack Hill and state Rep. Jon Burns join Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and other officials for the awarding of the Ford PAS grant to the Effingham Career Academy on Monday.

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ATLANTA-Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has announced that the Effingham Career Academy will be receiving a $10,000 grant to support its efforts to become a Ford PAS Next Generation Learning Community. The announcement was made during Effingham Day at the State Capitol, sponsored by the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce.

“I am honored and excited to announce this grant for the Effingham Career Academy,” said Lt. Gov. Cagle. “Through our partnership with the Ford Motor Company Fund and with the support of AT&T, we are able to work with local schools and communities to provide cutting edge ideas for relevant, career-based education that will give our students the skills they need to compete in the 21st century global economy. (This) announcement is a testament to the hard work and bold leadership of so many Effingham County community partners.”

Currently, 14 communities from across the nation are designated as a Ford PAS Next Generation Learning Community. Floyd County was Georgia’s first Next Generation Learning Community and they today enjoy a systemwide graduation rate of over 80 percent.

“Ford Motor Company Fund is very excited about Effingham County’s interest and commitment in becoming a Ford PAS-Next Generation Learning (NGL) community,” said Cheryl Carrier, program director for the Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies. “Through this commitment, Effingham County will become part of the Ford network of communities, who together are creating opportunities to engage high school students in inquiry-based and collaborative learning that prepares them to thrive in a global economy.”

“We are certainly excited about pursuing our designation as a Ford PAS Next Generation Learning Community,” said Randy Shearouse, Effingham County Superintendent of Schools. “Our mission statement and the Ford PAS curriculum are closely connected in that our goals are to involve stakeholders and prepare students for postsecondary education and the workforce of the future.”

“The ability to apply basic facts and figures to real world experiences is a necessary trait for this incredibly connected, global world,” said state Sen. Jack Hill. “This grant will aid in teaching our students these skills and prepare them to be future leaders for Georgia and the United States. I am very grateful to Ford, and everyone involved in the grant process, for helping to give our students this amazing opportunity.”

Next Generation Learning Communities work to create meaningful learning experiences that enable students to apply academic knowledge to real world learning experiences. They also create and maintain career- and interest-based programs and the collaborative culture, structures, and practices necessary to transform teaching and learning. Additionally, they engage employers, educators, civic, and community leaders to collaborate in promoting and sustaining educational programs that prepare the future workforce.

“It’s different modules that help train our students as they start looking at their postsecondary options,” Shearouse said. “It really teaches them to be good productive citizens so they can contribute to society and be successful in life.”

The grant will enable the school system to start the planning process, Shearouse added.

“That will go a long way to helping us plan,” he said. “It’s great news for our students and great news for our community. A lot of time and a lot of money have gone into this effort. We’re glad the lieutenant governor decided that Effingham County was a perfect fit for this program.”

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