Education roundup: Local schools to offer free meals to all students

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 2:27 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Richmond County and Columbia County school systems will offer free meals to all students during the 2021-22 school year.

The Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program has announced that Georgia schools may participate in the Seamless Summer Option for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs in the 2021-2022 school year.

Families are not required to complete meal applications to qualify for free breakfast and lunch meals.

The Seamless Summer Option is among several meal service flexibilities the federal government has extended through June 30, 2022.

Schools that chose the option will receive higher-than-normal meal reimbursements for every meal they serve, which will support them in managing increased costs. This option also affords schools the financial flexibility to customize their meal service to fit their local needs.

Columbia County school buses are on the roads

EVANS, Ga. - The Columbia County School District said school buses will begin testing routes daily from today through Thursday ahead of the start of school.

Nearly 300 school bus drivers will be on the roadways practicing routes for student pickup ahead of the first day of school, which will be Aug. 5.

“We ask that the public please be cautious of school buses traveling as our drivers prepare to get back to school,” the district said in a statement.

This year, parents will be able to track their child’s school bus in real time with the new Edulog Lite School Bus Tracker App.

The app will require a new school-specific code for the 2021-22 school year, that will be distributed to parents and guardians who wish to use the app.

The app utilizes the GPS tracking systems already installed on school buses. Learn more about the app and view a tutorial on how to use the School Bus Tracker App at

Educators brush up during SRS workshop

AIKEN, S.C - About 30 local middle and high school teachers came together recently at the University of South Carolina Aiken for the Teaching Radiation, Energy and Technology Workshop, an event for local educators held by the Department of Energy Savannah River Operations Office since 1995.

Through an environmental justice grant, DOE partners with Savannah State University to develop and carry out these important workshops. The goal is to educate teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade and local community leaders in the Central Savannah River Area about radiation, sources of radiation, radioactive waste management, effects of radiation on environmental health and the negative impact of environmental radiation exposure to humans.

Educators participate in the SRS workshop at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
Educators participate in the SRS workshop at the University of South Carolina Aiken.(WRDW)

The workshops are designed to educate the teachers so they can in turn provide radiation education to their students, and even encourage them to pursue careers in engineering and nuclear fields.

Savannah River Site Environmental Justice Program Manager de’Lisa Carrico, the workshop coordinator, noted the high value placed on this type of communication with local teachers and community leaders.

“For several years now, we’ve added a second workshop for faith-based and community leaders,” said Carrico. “The participants have been highly engaged in productive discussion and have also expressed their appreciation for this special opportunity.”

Georgia set to launch cloud computing classes

ATLANTA - High-school students in Georgia will now have access to a career pathway in cloud computing, after the Georgia Board of Education last week approved State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ recommendation to adopt the new courses.

“Our goal is that, when a student graduates from high school in the state of Georgia, they will be prepared for their next step – whether that’s enrolling in a college or university, immediately entering the workforce, or enlisting in the military,” state Superintendent Richard Woods said.

Amazon Web Services reached out to the Georgia Department of Education to propose a pathway that would prepare students for entry-level careers in the cloud computing industry – part of a broader initiative that includes courses at the technical college level. The K-12 courses were developed with feedback from industry representatives from AWS, Google Cloud, NCR, Accenture, Microsoft and other businesses.

Kids cultivate their ‘inner inventor’ at East Georgia State

SWAINSBORO, Ga. - Camp Invention, a nationally recognized program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, has been a popular summer destination for young people across the country.

The national camp has been held at the Sudie A. Fulford Community Learning Center at East Georgia State College for the past nine years. This year’s camp was held the week of July 12-16.

Camp Invention, a nationally recognized program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, has...
Camp Invention, a nationally recognized program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, has been a popular summer destination for young people across the country.(WRDW)

Camp Invention challenges students to find their “inner inventor” by learning the process of innovation and promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning. In addition, the camp builds confidence, leadership, perseverance, and problem-solving skills.

Each year, the program features a new curriculum inspired by some of our nation’s greatest inventors — the NIHF Inductees. For 2021, the Recharge curriculum featured exclusive video content from these inductees encouraging children to be confident in their ideas and explore their ability to innovate.

Local youths’ photographs to go in display

AIKEN - The Aiken Center for the Arts will be hosting the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at the University of South Carolina Aiken’s inaugural “Through the Eyes of a Child” student photography exhibit in the Brooks Gallery, 122 Laurens St., from July 29 to Sept. 3.

“Through the Eyes of a Child” is a comprehensive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) program that provides children an opportunity to investigate and document the nature they see around them. The program aims to inspire youth to get outside more, discover their natural world, and take digital photos of their discoveries using a cell phone, tablet, or camera.

“Today, competition for a child’s attention is fierce, and they are spending less time outdoors than ever before,” noted John Hutchens, director of special programs at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at UofSC Aiken. “Many people blame this disconnect from nature on addiction to screens and gadgets. Digital photography can actually capitalize on their fascination with devices to teach them about nature - and maybe even inspire them to protect it.”

Participants explored Hitchcock Woods, Silver Bluff Audubon Center & Sanctuary, and the North Augusta Brick Pond Park, where they took photographs, learned about patterns in nature, and more.

Aiken Technical College to host scholarship fundraiser

GRANITEVILLE, S.C. - Aiken Technical College and the college’s foundation will host a scholarship fundraiser and 50th anniversary kick-off on Sept. 1.

The event will be held 6-8 pm in the Center for Energy and Advanced Manufacturing facility on the college’s campus.

“The event proceeds directly benefit the student scholarship fund at Aiken Technical College,” said foundation Director Dr. Beth LaClair.

The event will be 6-8 pm in the Center for Energy and Advanced Manufacturing facility on the campus of Aiken Technical College. The evening will include a reception with drinks, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment by Brooke Lundy. There will be a raffle with items including diamond hoop earrings from Floyd & Green, an Aiken staycation at Fairfield & Park, a custom South Carolina emblem fire pit crafted by students and faculty, a RecTeq RT-590 pellet grill with two bags of pellets, and a private dinner for eight at the Village Café.

Tickets for general admission are $50.72 and $25.72 for alumni, faculty, staff, and retirees. The 72 cents is a way to commemorate the College’s founding in 1972.

To RSVP, purchase raffle tickets, or make a donation, visit

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