Sunday, October 20, 2002

Student Voices 2002: Civics Week and the Georgia Student Mock Election

Once again we have the opportunity to teach citizens, especially students, about our democratic process of voting. In 1997, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation creating "Civics Day" in Georgia's schools. Since then, Civics Day has been expanded to include "Civics Week," a weeklong celebration, which will be held this year from October 28th -November 1, 2002. During this week, teachers and students are encouraged to participate in activities designed to remind us of the liberty to participate in our government. The culminating event of "Civics Week" will be the Georgia Student Mock Election. Schools are asked to complete all voting by Friday, November 1st and submit results to the Office of Secretary of State.

"Civics Week" and the Georgia Student Mock Election is a collaborative effort between the Georgia Department of Education, the Secretary of State's Office, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and the Georgia Council of the Social Studies (GCSS). GCSS has created and produced lessons for teachers to use and made them available to school via CD-ROM as well as online. If you have questions regarding registration or ballot information, contact Tracie Murray in the Office of Secretary of State at or call 404-463-7713.

Look for Young Voices, REal Opinions to air on PeachStar, GPTV, and Georgia Public Radio during the first week of November to learn more about the issues surrounding this year's mock election.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

PeachStar Classroom Offers Georgia High Schoolers Course Credit

Teacher shortage has become epidemic in American classrooms today, and Georgia is no exception. PeachStar Education Services and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, the agency that oversees the certification of Georgia educators, collaborated to develop a solution to this problem in Georgia classrooms. The result of that collaboration is PeachStar Classroom, a multiple-media based initiative to provide credit-bearing college preparatory courses to Georgia high school students.

Since Georgia has a shortage of certified teachers in specialized secondary-level science areas such as physics and chemistry, PeachStar and the PSC chose physics and chemistry as the first courses to be developed as part of PeachStar Classroom. These stand-alone courses are being piloted in three Georgia systems over the 2002-2003 academic year:

* Dodge County Schools
* Ben Hill County Schools
* Calhoun County Schools

These schools boast diverse student populations, both in terms of achievement level and socioeconomic status. Two additional systems are using the course material to supplement their existing science curricula:

* Gwinnett County Schools
* Taliaferro County Schools

Experienced Georgia educators certified in physics and chemistry developed the curricula for both courses based on the Georgia Quality Core Curriculum guidelines. The primary method of course delivery is through 30-minute satellite broadcasts featuring teachers presenting the material to students, demonstrations of principles and techniques, students asking questions and interacting with the teacher, and short assessments of the material. A certified teacher serving as an onsite facilitator for the class interacts with the students, sets up labs, and administers assignments and assessments for the course.

PeachStar curriculum specialists and project team members will visit the pilot schools throughout the school year, observing their progress and talking with participating students and teachers to find out how the program is working for them. Look for updates in upcoming issues of Pipeline.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

"Make Clean Water Georgia's Future"

Exciting things are happening in Georgia's waterways. People young and old are stepping up and cleaning them, removing hundreds of pounds of garbage as part of Rivers Alive, Georgia's annual volunteer river cleanup event held throughout the month of October. The mission of Rivers Alive is to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia's water resources including streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. During 2001's River Cleanup, more than 18,000 volunteers cleaned over 650 miles of waterways and removed 120,000 pounds of trash and garbage from the State's waterways.

So where is all this garbage coming from? Despite substantial investment to curb point source pollution, Georgia's wetlands, lakes, rivers, and streams continue to be threatened by non-point source pollution. Non-point source pollution is pollution that cannot be traced to a specific point, but rather comes from many individual places. Sources include sediment from soil erosion, oil and grease from cars, pesticides, fertilizers, yard clippings, and litter (cigarette butts, plastic cups and bottles, foam, glass, metal cans, and fishing line). Basically anything that can be carried to streams by storm water runoff from streets, parking lots, farmlands, and construction sites is non-point source pollution.

The good news is there still is hope for Georgia's waterways. Non-point source pollution isn't a consequence of growth and development it is a product of human abuse and neglect, but there are many things we can do to be the solution to water pollution.

* First and foremost, participate in a Rivers Alive event this October and help cleanup Georgia's waterways. For information visit Rivers Alive website or call 404-675-1636.
* Second, Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse.
* And third, think twice before dumping anything down a drain. Most storm drains are not connected to a sewer system; therefore, anything dumped down them goes directly into Georgia's streams and rivers.

For more information about pollution prevention contact the Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Prevention Assistance Division at 404-651-5120.

Check out Channel 430 Mondays at 12 PM and Wednesday at 9:30 AM during September and October to learn more about Rivers Alive and the work being done to monitor Georgia's waterways.

Water Facts:

* Georgia has 70,150 miles of streams and rivers.
* Our waterways provide us with fresh drinking water, great recreational opportunities like canoeing and fishing, and they serve as a pleasant respite from our busy day to day lives.
* October is the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Federal legislation to improve America's waterways.
* Our waterways support a diverse array of wildlife and are home to many species of fish and mollusks.
* There are 14 major Riverbasins in Georgia - Coosa, Flint, St. Mary's, Satilla, Suwannee, Tallapoosa, Tennessee, Altamaha, Ocmuglee, Oconee, Savannah, Chattahoochee, Ochlockonee and Ogeechee.
* The Metro Atlanta area depends on the Chattahoochee River for 80% of its water requirements.

Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Cobb County Spreads Alcohol and Drug Awareness to Georgia Middle Schoolers

Since 1998, the judges of the Cobb State Court have sponsored the Cobb County Alcohol/Drug Awareness Conferences for middle and high school students. These conferences, developed by Frank Baker, Chief Probation Officer for the Cobb County State Court, were originally intended to educate all students in Cobb County Schools about the consequences of using drugs and alcohol. Today these conferences are broadcast statewide through PeachStar in order to spread the word about drug and alcohol abuse to every student in Georgia.

This year's middle school conference will be hosted by Acworth's Durham Middle School on October 25, 2002. The conference, which will air live on PeachStar's channel 430, communicates the important message of alcohol and drug awareness in several formats including:

* Keynote Speakers - This year's speakers will be Dave Goerlitz, the former "Winston Man," and Harriet Turk, a former probation officer and national safety consultant. They will discuss the dangers of tobacco use as well as some of the legal consequences for drug and alcohol use.
* Inmate Forum - This part of the program will feature inmates currently serving drug or alcohol related sentences. Students statewide may ask questions of the prisoners via email at
* Legal Forum - This roundtable discussion will feature various members of the criminal justice system as they discuss the legal implications of drug and alcohol use.
* Super's Corner - This straightforward discussion with Cobb County Superintendent Joseph Redden will address prevention issues in schools today.
* Inhalant Video Forum - A short video on the dangers of inhalants will be followed by a roundtable discussion.
* Public Safety Exhibits - Exhibits such as DARE vehicles, D.U.I. Task Force vehicles, and other public safety equipment will demonstrate the importance of alcohol and drug prevention to the community at large.
* Regional Panel Discussion - For the first time this year, a regional forum including students from the metro Atlanta area will participate in the conference from the Georgia Public Broadcasting Studios.
* Campus Drug Dog Presentation - One of the Cobb County Police Department drug dogs will demonstrate how the K-9 unit assists with drug prevention in schools.

Be sure to tune into this special live presentation with your class on Channel 430 from 9 AM until 2 PM on October 25 and use this opportunity to address the important issue of drug and alcohol abuse with your students.

Monday, October 7, 2002

Ready To Learn Brings American History to Life with Liberty's Kids

This new animated American history series brought to you by Ready To Learn is designed for children aged 7-11. Each thirty-minute episode features characters Sarah Phillips and James Hiller as they go on adventures that bring the history of the American Revolution to life. Let's take a look at some of the key characters who tell the stories of our shared history as Americans:

* Sarah Phillips - A fifteen-year old girl fresh off the boat from London. Sarah is staying with Benjamin Franklin while she awaits the reunion with her father, who is traveling in the American wilderness. She is a British loyalist, incensed by the revolutionary thinking of many people in the new world.
* James Hiller - A fourteen-year old apprentice journalist in Ben Franklin's print shop. James is always on the lookout for breaking news to print in the paper. He specializes in finding news about the American Revolution and sharing it with people everywhere.
* Henri - A young French orphan who accompanies Sarah and James on their adventures.
* Benjamin Franklin - An inventor, author, musician, statesman, and leader in the American Revolution. Ben guides Sarah, James, and Henri on their adventures whether he's in Philadelphia or France.
* Moses - A former slave from West Africa. Moses looks after Sarah and James when Ben is away and works on the printing press. He believes the values behind the American Revolution will help to set his people free as well.

The series uses animation and dramatic storytelling to introduce young viewers to the principles that incited the American Revolution. Values such as liberty, patriotism, and tolerance are depicted in entertaining ways that define for young viewers what it means to be an American.

Liberty's Kids airs every weekday on GPTV at 6:30 AM. Ask your media specialist to record this series each day so you can share it with the school-aged historians in your classroom. Riverdeep and DIC Entertainment have developed special Liberty's Kids software designed to immerse children in the adventures of Sarah and James as they explore the American Revolution. For more information about ordering this software, visit and search for Liberty's Kids.