Guests get an education of their own on the South Rome Learning Center and how the state’s GOAL program lets them redirect Georgia income tax dollars to help specific projects such as this one.

Guests get an education of their own on the South Rome Learning Center and how the state’s GOAL program lets them redirect Georgia income tax dollars to help specific projects such as this one.

Jennifer Scott (!) on Friday greets guests under the Dempsey Auction tent set up across from Anna K. Davie Elementary, home to the South Rome Learning Center. Scott and other supporters of the learning center highlighted the benefits of the Georgia GOAL program that lets you dedicate 100 percent of your state income taxes to the learning center (and other programs). Hometown photo.
Jackie McDowell, dean of Berry College’s School of Education and Human Sciences and one of the founders of the South Rome Learning Center, leads a tour of the learning center Friday morning. Guests included Esther Vaughn, left, and Mark Law, right. Hometown photo.

 

>Above: A Facebook Live video on Friday’s information session and tour of the South Rome Learning Center.

It was supposed to be an information session on the advantages of taking part in the Georgia GOAL Scholarship program and how those funds help support projects such as the South Rome Learning Center.

Instead, it morphed into an opportunity to meet some of the students, parents and faculty working with 32 children in the learning center classrooms that are part of Anna K. Davie Elementary. In one classroom, the kids were learning about apples, including everything from the colors and shapes to even sharing a few. Each classroom leader was paired with three children at various stations around the classroom. Next door, the class was huddled together to sing a morning greeting song with images of squirrels and fall. The curious kids were sharing nervous smiles with the small groups jumping in and out of each room.

Inbetween, guests invited to the information session were briefed on the three-star rated program — the first to earn such honors from the state — and how neighbhorhood parents and donors help pay a sliding scale of tuition to give these kids a shot at early education and a better foundation for the years ahead.

The tour started in a lot across from Anna K. Davie under a Dempsey Auction tent. Jennifer Scott¬†and others supporting the learning center quickly briefed the invitees on GOAL as well as the impact of the learning center. They talked about the advantages of basically “redirecting state tax dollars your already are paying to support early childhood education in South Rome.” Among the speakers was a parent with two children who have experienced the program, one of whom has grown into an honors student in the Rome City Schools curriculum.

Nearby, the mobile unit from Swift & Finch kept guests fueled with coffee on the chilliest morning yet of fall 2019 — 38 degrees. Paired with pastries, each of the “delegates” supporting the learning center did a few one-on-ones with visitors before tours started. One of the founders, Dean Jackie McDowell of Berry College’s School of Education and Human Science, took the first guests across the street to see the learning center in action. Once inside, Director Teri Oberg took over, showcasing the classrooms, the kids and the staff as parents and guardians checked in their kids for the morning as well.

For more on the learning center: SRLC

For more on the GOAL Scholarship, including current tax advantage, click GOAL.

Link to specific questions about how GOAL works. Q&A

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