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New student leadership program being organized here

The Association County Commissioners of Georgia delivered a $2,500 check to Cairo High School Tuesday to start a new youth leadership program. The grant was announced during a ceremonial check presentation held at the school Tuesday afternoon. The money will help build the Georgia Civic Awareness Program for Students, or GCAPS, at CHS. The program is designed to expose students to the workings of government.
“This program will give our students the opportunity to receive firsthand experience with local government and local government agencies,” CHS principal Chris Lokey told the crowd gathered for the ceremony.
Grady County Commissioner T.D. David, who spearheaded the development of this program locally, addressed the crowd and said, “This will help anybody who wants to run for public office; it will give them a leg up.” He also said students will also learn about potential jobs in government.
The Grady County Commission has committed up to $1,500 to the new group, which is under the direction of Del Bibles, chairman of Cairo High School’s Social Studies Department. “To get kids out of Cairo High School and see what local government is doing is going to be a pleasure,” Bibles commented. Other teachers who will support the program are Jim Sellers, Casey Ponder and assistant principal Michael Best.
Students who want to participate are already submitting their applications, and Bibles described the ideal inaugural group of approximately 15 students as civic minded with good conduct. “I’m looking for good people,” he said, “I want them to be proud of where they’re from and us to be proud of them.”
Bibles said he hopes to have 15 students selected in the coming weeks so the group can attend a county commission meeting next month. More students are expected to be added to the group in early 2017.
Grady County superintendent of schools Dr. Kermit Gilliard said the program will benefit students.
“This experience fits in with the College and Career model, as it is another way for the students to learn the jobs that are available in the community and the education needed to be eligible to apply for the position. I would like to thank the county commissioners for their support and financial contribution as well as ACCG for their grant. I would especially like to thank Commissioner David for his time and commitment to this program,” Gilliard said.
Kathleen Bowen of ACCG told the crowd that there are currently only two other GCAPS communities in Georgia, Oconee County and Macon-Bibb County. Bowen met with the high school representatives after the presentation to discuss options and opportunities for the new group.

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