News 12 at 6 o'clock, January 09, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---It's a challenge finding ways for children from Gilbert Manor to move and still do well in school. The Richmond County School superintendent met with the housing authority Wednesday.
Marcia Buck is a volunteer from First Baptist Church in Augusta. She stopped by Gilbert Manor Wednesday. Her mission: helping families move. "We just felt called to do it, and I guess if I was in their situation I'd be looking for help."
Marcia was front and center as the Augusta Housing Authority and the Richmond County School superintendent talked about the future of Gilbert Manor children. Should they be forced to change schools mid school year? "I think that's hard for a child. I know I was in 4 different high schools and it's hard to move and to make new friends and to make that transition for them," said Marcia.
Dr. Dana Bedden has a can do attitude. "Yes...we have to think outside the box, but we have to work with them within reason."
The issue is transportation. The Housing Authority is offering up a school bus they say they'll lease to the county for $1.00 just to make it legal. It seats about 66, and at least 48 students need a ride. The superintendent said they'll do something to make it work.
"The staff will probably say that we're already stretched thin, but we're going to do what it takes to help our kids." Dr. Bedden wants the Housing Authority to survey families about their preference. They would then have to file a zone exception form with the school board.
Meanwhile, MCG Vice President Michael Ash says, "I am very encouraged. I think the institution is very pleased at the cooperation exhibited between the community entities to provide the property to us for expansion."
Marcia says while the college focuses on the business end of things she'll focus on personal needs. "Any way we can help, whatever we can do. Just let them call First Baptist and we will be there."