On May 6, 2020, we will recognize our school nurses by celebrating National School Nurse Day
to foster a better understanding of the role of school nurses have in the educational setting.
The theme this year is School Nurses: Supporting Students in Times of Crisis.
This year has been more challenging for everyone in the world with the COVID-19 global
pandemic. Pickens County School District (PCSD) has a licensed school nurse in every building
and whether they are working in the school clinic or working virtually, they take on a variety of
roles, duties, and responsibilities with the intent to promote academic and lifelong achievement.
For many children, the school nurse may be the only health professional they have access to
regularly. This becomes even more important as the prevalence of chronic social, emotional,
and other health problems keep increasing. Their role is essential for all students — in public
health, in care coordination, in organizing access to resources to help address the social
determinants of health, and in policy development, particularly to support the health and
education of our students during this pandemic.
Thank you, Pickens County School District nurses, for leading health promotion and disease
prevention in our school community. You have helped decrease fears and promote the
prevention of COVID-19, the flu, and other illnesses. You continue to educate and support
students, parents, and school staff virtually. You are volunteering with food distribution,
providing facial coverings, assisting the Department of Public Health with contact tracing, and
modifying end-of-year processes considering the pandemic.
Our elected officials and school leaders have invested in programs and services that improve
the health and well-being outcomes of all children. The school nurses could not do the job they
do without the support and investment of community stakeholders including PCSD Board of
Education members, district and school leaders, and many others. “Thank You” to everyone
who supports school nurses ensuring our children have a successful, productive, and healthy
This week marks a shared proclamation from three neighboring counties, Fannin, Pickens, and Gilmer, as they recognize, in partnership with the Appalchian Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney’s (DA) Office, it as Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
An awareness program and a reinvigoration for efforts put forth to protect and provide for victims and witnesses of crimes, these proclamations show each county’s support for such efforts and their dedication to continuing them throughout the year. The Proclamation signings are being done in conjunction with the National Crime Victims’ Rights week and in coordination with the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Victim Witness Assistance Program.
This year’s national and local theme is “Seek Justice | Ensure Victims’ Rights | Inspire Hope” which celebrates the progress made by those before who have worked so hard as they look to a future of crime victim services that is even more inclusive, accessible, and trauma-informed.
The Proclamations signed by the Chairmen of the Boards of Commissioners, Rob Jones in Pickens, Charlie Paris in Gilmer, and Stan Helton in Fannin, recognizes all of those ideals as well as acknowledging that due to the continued transmission of COVID-19, now, and over the past several weeks, our area, our state and our nation, have been facing unprecedented times.
The DA’s Office has many community partners that provide invaluable services in our area, like our local food banks and Family Connection and the Appalachian Children’s Center. Due to the financial hardship that COVID-19 has caused, many families are in need of these resources. Unfortunately, due to the constraints of the shelter-in-place orders, even though these organizations have an increase in demand, their ability to fund-raise has been extremely limited.
The DA’s Office said, “In conjunction with Crime Victims’ Rights Week, signs bearing the message of “In God We Trust” are being placed throughout Gilmer county in hopes that some will take encouragement from our nation’s motto of “In God We Trust.”
The Victim Advocacy Program of the District Attorney’s office continues to assist victims in obtaining restitution, refer victims to appropriate public and non-profit partners for services, and help victims who qualify for crime victim compensation.
Donations are an easy way to in this time to provide versatile help for community programs who seek to support and provide for our fellow people in our areas. Programs like food banks always need donations of every kind. But when financial donations come in, sometimes it may not feel like a donation the same way providing cans do.
But financial donations are how programs fill in the gaps for needs and variety. If one bank has a lot of one food, but is lacking in another, the versatility of financial donations allows that gap to be closed.
Donations like this are exactly what happened on the Highway 515 corridor including Pickens, Gilmer, and Fannin Counties. The District Attorney’s office of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit has made such provisions for these programs.
On April 10, 2020, the District Attorney’s Office presented the Fannin County Family Connection, which operates a local food bank, with a $5000 donation from the crime victim assistance fund.
On April 10, 2020, the District Attorney’s Office presented the Pickens CARES, a local food bank, with a $5,000 donation from the crime victim assistance fund. Sheriff Donnie Craig also presented Pickens CARES with $5,000 from the Sheriff’s Foundation.
On April 14, 2020, the District Attorney’s Office presented the Gilmer Community Food Pantry with a $5000 donation from the crime victim assistance fund. Pictured B. Alison Sosebee, District Attorney, and Allen Triebel, Gilmer Community Food Pantry.
Over the last week we have been working hard placing signs throughout Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties that simply say “In God We Trust”. Not only is the hope to spread a positive message during this difficult time, but to help draw attention to our community partners and resources that are available in our area.
Sosebee’s office issued a statement saying, “Now, and over the past several weeks, our area, our state and our nation, have been facing unprecedented times. The continued transmission of COVID-19 is scary….for a lot of reasons….not the least of which is the financial impact on the families, children and community service organizations.”
IN OUR COMMUNITY WE ARE BLESSED. There are many resources available to those in need in our area. AND IF YOU DO NOT NEED THESE RESOURCES, THEY NEED YOU! Many food pantries in our area have had an increase in distribution to those in need; however, due to shelter-in-place and social distancing, normal fundraising events for these non-profit organizations have been cancelled or indefinitely postponed. They are still smiling, working and serving; HOWEVER, to keep up, they need your help if you can!
Resources available in Pickens County include:
Address: 89 Cares Drive, Jasper, GA 30143
Food Distribution Schedule: Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 12:00.
Boys and Girl Club: 101 Freedom Way, Jasper, GA 30143
Tel: (706) 253-2582
Additional contact information for assistance include:
District Attorney: (706) 253-3511
Pickens Sheriff’s Office: (706) 253-8901
For those who are unable to travel to obtain food and/or prescription medication you may contact PCSO Capt. Kris Stancil at (706) 253-8869 to inquire if you are eligible for delivery by PCSO.
Pickens School Food Distribution:
Tel: (706) 253-1700
Drive-through lunch pick-up spots are available Monday-Friday on scheduled school days from 11:30 – 12:30. Stop by
Harmony Elementary, Hill City Elementary, Tate Elementary, Jasper Middle School, Mountainside Manor (behind the hospital), Foothills IGA in Marble Hill, and Hinton Milling out Hwy 53 West in the Hinton Community and four bus routes. These are breakfast and lunch.
Also, the Victim Advocacy Program of the District Attorney’s office continues to assist victims in obtaining restitution, refer victims to appropriate public and non-profit partners for services, and help victims who qualify for crime victim compensation.
Sosebee said, “In times like these, the greatness of a community can be seen by the compassion of the community….and as always IN GOD WE TRUST!”
For the second time in the school’s history we have a member on the all state team! Congratulations Owen Moss! It’s a well-deserved honor. I’m proud of all of our guys and girls! I hate that we were cut short this season, but we’re going to be ready when this thing goes live with GHSA in 2021!!!!
The Pickens County Ministerial Association (PCMA) was established sometime in the 1990’s. It is an informal, non incorporated group of local pastors. The members meet each third Wednesday of the month in the cafeteria of the Piedmont Mountainside Hospital. The purpose of the PCMA is to reach out to the local community in various ways including making donations to ministries and organizations that support the Pickens Community. It holds annual community Holy Week services, National Day of Prayer Services, and Thanksgiving services and is the driving force behind the visit by Dr. King to the Pickens community.
In his third term as president of the PCMA, Ralph Barker said, “From time to time the PCMA will take on a special project such as we recently did with the community-wide prayer breakfast with Dr. Alveda King.” These meetings are a time for the members to pray for and support each other. Any pastor in the Pickens County area is welcomed to join the PCMA.
According to the PCMA’s release, their special guest for the evening, Alveda C. King is a creative Christian evangelist and civil rights activist and is also known for her creative contributions in film, music, politics, education and journalism. She is also an actress, singer, songwriter, blogger, author (including A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE BLACK PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT, BLACK AND BROWN AMERICANS IN SEARCH OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, AMERICA RETURN TO GOD, KING TRUTHS, KING LEGACY COOKBOOK, KING RULES, WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST JESUS, LET FREEDOM RING, TENDER MOMENTS ALONE WITH GOD), and a television and radio personality.
As a former GA State Legislator and devoted mother and grandmother, she is also a guardian of the King Family Legacy. Alveda is the daughter of Rev. A. D. King and Mrs. Naomi King, the granddaughter of Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Mrs. Alberta Williams King, and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She currently serves as a Pastoral Associate and Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, the African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. She is also a voice for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, sharing her testimony of two abortions, God’s forgiveness, and healing.
The man in charge of the event, Reverend Ben Mock, often writes his own passages and columns and spoke recently on the issues challenged by the Kings saying, “Growing up as a white kid near Sandfly, Georgia, a “colored” community on the southside of Savannah, I had a front row seat to the injustices of the Old South. I recall riding on the Nancy Hanks to Atlanta, watching the cotton fields go by and wondering if the passengers in the rear cars weren’t as thirsty as I was. I could get a cold Coca Cola in the dining car, they could not.”
He later said he was glad those days are gone saying, “I am thankful that a young man raised himself up out of the squalor of Sandfly to now sit on the Supreme Court of these United States. I have lost touch, but I am proud of my classmates of color who went on to build long and illustrious careers in medicine, business and, well, success in life, far greater than my own. And I am glad that I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Alveda King during my visits to the Georgia capitol last year during the process of the LIFE Act becoming law…”
King said people are joining and attending events like these prayer meetings because people know they need more. She offered her words saying she was just like everyone else, asking “What more can I do?”
Offering prayer and good efforts for those in leadership and those in tough positions is part of what we as humans need to do for each other. “Everybody should do what’s right” she said.
We can’t only depend on signs and miracles, said King, but we have to come together in our community and in our nation to be one people. One nation.
Rev. Mock called Dr. King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a champion of our nation and the world. He said, “Just a few years my elder, Dr. King has her own memories of the Civil Rights Era: her home bombed as just a girl of twelve; her pastor father arrested for simply sitting at a lunch counter, which emboldened her to later go to jail herself for a person’s right to live where they wished.”
Mock called the message shared by a King “words of hope and encouragement to our little community that is much in need of unity…” He said the Pickens’ idyllic little community has experienced a lot of tension and tragedy of late.
The Community Prayer Breakfast, that was held Wednesday, February 26, at Chattahoochee Technical College in Jasper, was organized by a small handful of members of the Pickens County Ministerial Association. Mock said these meetings have to come”in order to seek to pray for all those in authority in our community, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Timothy 2.2). Our churches wish to honor and show our support for the governing powers and servants of our community who bear God’s authority over us. (Romans 13.1-7)”
Mock summed up the event and the overall reason on the reasons for prayer events like this saying, “We seek in covenant prayer the forgiveness, direction, strength and blessing of God for all those individuals, families and institutions which make up Pickens County.”