Nancy Steed and Rebecca Garner made the request on behalf of CED during the Tuesday, Feb. 12 meeting of the council.
The conference, Steed said, will involve all seventh and eighth grade students in the Cherokee County School System who will be travel to GSCC-Cherokee by bus that morning and back to their individual schools that afternoon. Steed said they will provide breakfast, lunch and a snack for the students during the day.
“We have three speakers that we are really excited about having,” said Steed. “One is Coach Ken Carter. You may remember the movie made about him. He went into a school system as a basketball coach. The school had a big drop out rate and he decided to take the job at that school and he turned that school around. When he finished there, most of the students were college grads. He made students sign a contract with him before he would allow them to play basketball for him. They signed the contract that they would maintain all A and A and B grades throughout the school year. We are excited about having him there.”
The night before the conference March 5, Steed said, a community night is planned which is open to the public and Coach Carter will speak at that conference.
“After Coach Carter speaks, we will also have the media guy,” said Steed. “The media guy puts up three huge screens and plays clips from movies and it is just a really good presentation. It has the loud music, kids really love and get into. He is really good. We also have Craig Tornquist, a comedian. He gets students on stage with him and does a really good job.”
“Then we go into breakout sessions with suicide prevention, bullying, dangers of texting and driving and other programs,” said Steed.
“Some of the guys from the sheriff’s office will be there with us,” said Steed. “It is just a big, big conference that brings a lot of people together to make this event happen. We have really hit the road asking for food, donations, milk, the whole nine yards to be able to pull this off and put it together.”
“This program is also taking place in Etowah and Dekalb County Schools,” said Steed.
“But their students will be paying to attend the conference. At this point, students in Cherokee County Schools are not going to have to pay to come.”
“I really think it is going to be a great advantage for our students versus the other counties because no one is going to be left out,” said Steed. “And I think that is important because some families are not able to afford that.”
“We would very much appreciate the council attending that day as well,” said Steed. “Just to come and be a part of it and see what it is all about. We are asking for any amount the city might be able to do toward this conference.”
SADD, Garner explained, is a spin-off of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) which started with Students Against Drunk Driving and expanded to Students Against Destructive Decisions.
“It covers various alcohol, drugs, smoking, all these negative decisions,” said Garner.
“It is very important that you understand what a plus it is that rural Cherokee County has the opportunity to have something right here that just three years ago there was only one in the state,” said Garner.
“And all state funding had been cut out. We are hoping we can start SADD groups and that Nancy and I can meet with them in coming years.”
The council agreed to give the $1,000.
In other business, the council approved purchasing an infield machine for the Dixie Youth Baseball Field for $6,750 and fencing for $9,180 and also agreed to purchase a storage building for the machine which was already budgeted.
The council also approved other budgeted items including a grill, equipment table and deep fryer for the softball complex.
The council also:
-Agreed to check on possibly lowering the speed limit on Alexis Road.
-Approved purchase a 2001 Tahoe from Dekalb-Cherokee Gas for $1,600. The vehicle was declared as surplus property and municipalities within the Dekalb and Cherokee area are allowed to purchase surplus items on a rotating basis.