New DOCO program feeds kids all summer long

New DOCO program feeds kids all summer long

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - When Dougherty County schools let out for summer Thursday, many kids won’t get breakfast and lunch thereafter.

When school lets out for the summer, it can be an exciting time, but for many kids, it means they won't get three meals a day. Dougherty County School System wants to change that this summer.

The Summer Meals Program offers healthy food to kids when school is out for the summer.

They’ll set up around 47 sites for any child, ages one to 18, working to feed kids who normally get breakfast and lunch at school.

“There’s a void. Therefore there are a lot of kids who are in need of a healthy meal. When you look at the statistics, one in six children in the nation have food insecurity. Right here in Dougherty County, we have those same challenges," said the Nutrition Director, Blaine Allen.

The program starts May 28 and runs until July 12.

You can call the nutrition office at (229) 431-1818 for more information.

If you sign your kids up for the Summer Meals program, they’ll have healthy food options, like the sun chips and raisins, and they’ll have more hot meals this summer, as well.

More from the Board of Education meeting;

school improvements are underway

The Dougherty County School System would like to have a little more than $200 million to use for educating students this upcoming school year.

Board members have approved the proposed budget, which would not raise taxes.

They want to hear from you first before they finalize it.

The Dougherty County School System Board of Education members have approved the new budget for the upcoming year.

Dougherty County School System Board of Education. (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County School System Board of Education. (Source: WALB)

First they are giving you, the parents and the taxpayers, the chance to come out and voice your opinions before it is finalized.

It is about a $204 million budget.

And your taxes won't be raised this year, with the millage rate staying the same.

With about a $138 million general fund balance, the same as this past year.

The new budget does account for the $3,000 teacher pay raise Governor Brian Kemp passed.

Bus drivers, cafeteria and maintenance workers will also get a two percent cost of living adjustment.

Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said the highlight of the new year’s budget is allowing the school system to attract new teachers and keep the ones already employed.

Dougherty County School System Superintendent, Kenneth Dyer. (Source: WALB)
Dougherty County School System Superintendent, Kenneth Dyer. (Source: WALB)

“It goes a long way towards being able to recruit and retain high quality teachers in the classroom. That’s of utmost importance. We want students to maintain high levels of academic achievement and realize their full potential,” said Dyer.

You will have a chance to hear more about the budget and speak for, or against it, at two upcoming public hearings.

Those are both on June 3, one at noon and the other at 6 p.m..

The final budget will be approved June 10.

Another update from the meeting;

Classrooms at Albany High School are being converted into office space to house a new program.

The School Improvement Program is expected to help turn Dougherty County Schools around.

It's a part of a federal and state government program.

It sends representatives who work with students, teachers and principles to help guide them.

Helping them raise test scores, and improve overall student achievement.

“Kids who need a little nudge, or a little additional help. And so navigating that on your own can be a little tedious. And so we have a division set up to work with those schools and help turn those schools around,"said school spokesperson, J.D. Sumner.

Sumner said people from the Chief Turn Around Office and other state agencies help as apart of the School Improvement Program.

More exciting news for Dougherty County students;

A group of talented Dougherty County High School students are getting a lot of world-wide recognition for their hard work.

Dougherty County Youth Orchestra was named the top high school performance group in the country!

Dougherty County School Youth Orchestra. (Source: DCSS)
Dougherty County School Youth Orchestra. (Source: DCSS)

They went to Atlanta back in April for their regional competition.

There they went up against groups from all across the country.

“Of course every year new students because we have graduates that graduate and the normal flow of students come back. We are going to be working as hard to be as good,” said Alexandra Reshetnicheno, Orchestra Instructor.

Board of Education members gave them an award of excellence to recognize their hard work.

Copyright 2019 WALB. All rights reserved.