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29 June 2006
Chamber Updates on Innovative Programs
in Education

The following article is an excerpt from "The Forum," a publication of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce. This article may be found in Issue 7, Vol. 26, July 2006 of "The Forum" in an article entitled "Education Committee Updates - Good News in Education.

The Education Committee of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce met in June for updates on innovative programs in education.

Dr. Cynthia McCarty, Jacksonville State University Department of Finance, Economics and Accounting, discussed the free 2006 Teacher Workshops offered at JSU on ARMT, SAT10, AHSGE, and Course of Study Standards which are sponsored by JSU's College of Business, 3E, JSU's Teacher-In-Service Center and ACEE. She provided brochures and written material showing how economics could be incorporated into classroom studies. She reported the workshops assisted teachers in finding creative, hands-on methods to teach economics and financial literacy. John Wheeler, Chairman Emeritus of 3E, said "Economics is the basic momentum of our lives; if you don't understand the free enterprise system, it will disappear."

Polly Crow presented information on the science aspect of the Alabama Math, Science & Technology Initiative (AMSTI), which provides a training program for teachers and equipment, materials, and resources needed for hands-on, activity- based math and science education. Ms. Crow had committee members participate in a science activity using live flowers to teach science concepts through observation, recording and discussion. She emphasized that through AMSTI students become aware of the importance of learning to be observant of the world around them, to ask questions and search for answers.

Tena King announced the Anniston Community Education Foundation would host an Anniston Youth Empowerment Summit as a "kick-off to school event" with successful Anniston High School graduates, nationally known athletes, and celebrities speaking to students. This will be held on August 5, 2006 at Chink Lott Memorial Stadium from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. More details are available by contacting Shelia Jones at (256)741-1629.

A new Anniston High School Career Program will begin this fall according to Mr. Robert Etnire. This program is designed to promote career choices through information on the 500 best jobs in the U.S. and career opportunities in Anniston and Gadsden. Students will be provided information, opportunities to do research on careers, meet employees currently working in their selected career areas, and gain work experience through 4-6 hours of co-op work in their field of interest.

Dr. Eric Mackey reported on plans for a Community Conversation on Education (CCOE), an area education forum, to be held on August 17, 2006 at the City Meeting Center. The focus of this forum will be promoting a strong business/education partnership and a comprehensive strategy to move education forward for all local school systems. The forum will focus on developing technology and sharing resources, per Dr. Mackey. Senator Sessions, who serves on the Senate Education and Early Childhood Development Committee, is expected to be the keynote speaker.

All chamber members are invited to attend the Education Committee meetings, scheduled for the first Wednesday of each month, August through June. The committee does not meet in July. In lieu of the August 2006 Education Committee meeting, committee members are encouraged to attend the CCOE on August 17, 2006 at the Anniston City Meeting Center. Chaired by Jacksonville School System Superintendent, Eric Mackey, the Education Committee is part of the Education Division of the Chamber, under the direction of Divisional Vice Chairman Greg Potts. To receive meeting notices, please contact Lynda Aker at the Chamber by phone at 237-3536 or by e-mail to

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