"Without support and funding from Harvest, we would be unable to develop, promote and sustain initiatives to address health issues and work toward a healthier future for Martinsville and Henry County. "
- Barbara Jackman, Executive Director - MHC Coalition for Health and Wellness
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Harvest K-12 Schools Grant Pays Educational Dividends

December 15, 2005

By MATTHEW McCORMICK
Bulletin Staff Writer

Area businesses and individuals came together Wednesday to thank the Henry County Schools' faculty and staff for their efforts which resulted in accreditation of all 15 county schools for the 2005-2006 school year.

"When you achieve a goal that you set for yourself, it is important to take a step back and celebrate," said Superintendent Dr. Sharon Dodson.

To help the county do just that, 22 local businesses and individuals donated about $3,200 to provide each one of the county school system's 1,400 employees with a silver-plated key chain and buffet banquets, many of which were held at schools across the county on Wednesday.

Other schools planned their celebrations for today.

In attendance at each banquet was a member of the administration and school board, who presented the school with a 2005-2006 accreditation banner.

Speaking at a reception at Bassett High School, Dodson thanked teachers and staff for their hard work to help students master the state's Standards of Learning, which determined accreditation of the schools.

"This gift does not reflect the amount of work that it took to achieve (accreditation) but it does reflect the support of this community," Dodson said of the key chain. "You are not alone" in the classroom.

Bassett biology teacher Evalyn Chapman said it felt good to have their efforts in the classroom recognized by the community.

"Success always feels great," Chapman said of Bassett's accreditation. "Having it recognized by members of the community and your boss feels even better."

While the banquet was meant to recognize the importance of the work that takes place in the classroom, Dodson said accreditation could not have been achieved without the dedication of all the division employees, not just those who teach.

"Everyone has a part in success in the classroom," she said.

That includes the students, said Jay Gilbert, a teacher and football coach.

"You have to give credit to the kids," he said. "We have great kids here at Bassett."

Contributing to the accreditation celebration were the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce; Altrusa International Inc.; Bassett Furniture Industries; Boxley Materials Co.; Paula Burnette; Cahill Specialty company; Collinsville Printing Co. Inc.; CPFilms Inc.; Dillon Insurance Agency; H.C. Wade Sheet Metal Works Inc.; Henry County; Imperial Savings & Loan Association; Milton Kendall; Max Kendall Lumber; Pine Products Inc.; Prillaman Landscape Dimensions Inc.; Sechrist Food Systems Inc.; Stanley Furniture; Tacoma Inc.; The Old Country Store; and WZBB-FM 99.9.




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