Community members take bus tour of Tift Co. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Community members take bus tour of Tift Co.

Dozens of community members toured Tift Co. Friday. (Source:WALB) Dozens of community members toured Tift Co. Friday. (Source:WALB)
Inez Cleveland is a mother of two. (Source: WALB) Inez Cleveland is a mother of two. (Source: WALB)
Stacey Beckham is the Tift Co. School director of communications. (Source: WALB) Stacey Beckham is the Tift Co. School director of communications. (Source: WALB)
The bus toured areas where there is a great deal of poverty. (Source :WALB) The bus toured areas where there is a great deal of poverty. (Source :WALB)
Two tours went out on Friday. (Source: WALB) Two tours went out on Friday. (Source: WALB)
TIFT CO., GA (WALB) -

School children weren't the only ones riding a yellow bus on Friday. 

Dozens of Tift County teachers and community members took a ride of their own. 

Led by the Tift County school department, school leaders gave parents and teachers an inside look at where students spend their days. 

"I wanted to know why our kids act the way they do in school," said Inez Cleveland. 

 Cleveland is a mother of two and small business owner in town. She said she saw areas on the tour, she hadn't seen in years. 

"I really do think it was a great thing," said Cleveland.

For an hour and a half Tift County School System Communication Director Stacey Beckham and a member of the Tifton Police Department brought dozens of community members around town. 

"We've had people in tears by the end of it," said Beckham.

They showcased the poverty stricken areas where kids live.  As well as areas where students have made a difference as a part of community service projects. 

"We've had people who were new to Tifton who this opened their eyes to and others who have lived here in Tifton their whole lives and said I simply didn't know," said Beckham.

Beckham said the idea of the tour started when school leaders realized poverty was having an impact on their students. In years past, teachers took the tours. On Friday, school leaders invited the public. 

"The awareness that has come from this has been fantastic, the fire that has been lit in people that go hey I can help," said Beckham.

Cleveland said now she plans to reach out to parents looking for jobs and employ them at her business. She believes by showing the parents love, it will carry on to students love and make a lasting impression.

"It doesn't matter what they have at home or what they don't have. You just show love. Love covers a multitude of everything," said Cleveland.

More than 40 people took the two tours Friday.

School leaders said since the tours have been so much of a success, they plan to do more this spring. 

Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved. 

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