Children’s Policy Council hosts Christmas celebration

Published 2:09 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

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The Lowndes County Courthouse was full of holiday cheer on Dec. 6 as members of the Lowndes County Children’s Policy council gathered for their monthly meeting and yearly Christmas celebration.

During the meeting, District Judge Adrian Johnson and Lowndes County Public Schools Superintendent Samita Jeter unveiled a project that has been in the works for a while now to benefit Lowndes County students – system’s the “Get Lit With Literacy” bus.

Jeter said the bus features a variety of ways to increase student literacy while providing a safe place for the county’s youth to spend time without inconveniencing their parents.

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“When you get in you’ll see that we have shelves lined with books,” Jeter said. “We ordered books strictly for the bus and we’re going to have chromebooks available for them to be able to not only read hardback books, but also books online.” 

The bus will travel to different communities and neighborhoods within the county where children and students of all ages will be able to get on the bus to read and participate in educational activities.

Johnson explained to those in attendance where the funding for the bus came from, as well as stipulations placed on the funding which led to the traveling library’s creation.

“The Department of Early Childhood Education made grant money available for certain counties, and we were one of five counties selected to receive grant funds,” Johnson expressed. “We could use it on any project we chose as long as it focused on the Campaign for Grade Level Reading and did something to promote children reading on grade level by the time they were in the third grade.”

After taking a tour of the “Get Lit” bus, attendees were escorted to the law library to enjoy refreshments and fellowship in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas holiday. Members brought toys to donate as Christmas gifts for local foster children.

Lowndes and Butler County Toys for Tots director Michele Sousa was one of those in attendance at the meeting. Sousa offered a sizable donation toward the gift collection and discussed the role of Toys for Tots in providing a bit of Christmas magic for children in need.

“Toys for Tots is about Christmas morning,” Sousa explained. “If children don’t have Christmas [gifts], we step in and we give anywhere from three to five gifts per child.”

The Lowndes County Children’s Policy Council will not have a meeting in January, and will instead reconvene on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. in the courtroom of the Lowndes County Courthouse.