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Two high schools awarded grants

COVINGTON - Two high schools in Newton County recently were awarded grants for student work training.

The state office of the governor announced that 56 Georgia high schools will be given Georgia Work Ready training grants that provide three-year access to skills-gap training software through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The software helps students improve the levels in their Work Ready Certificates, which provides a skills assessment and certification for job seekers and job profiling for businesses.

"Earning a Work Ready Certificate tells a potential employer that an individual has the core job skills necessary for success," said Gov. Sonny Perdue in a press release from his office. "The Work Ready software helps students improve their work readiness, provides students with a better understanding of the skills employers look for in a successful employee and helps high schools improve their graduation rates."

After submitting applications for grants detailing how they would implement the training, Eastside and Newton high schools were the only Newton County high schools to receive the grant money. They were each awarded $5,000.

"The Work Ready Grants will enable our schools to provide training related to the Georgia Work Ready Assessment administered through the Governor's Office," said James Woodard, director of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education in the Newton County School System, in an NCSS press release. "It will assist students in preparing for academic assessments as well. This is a great honor for both Eastside and Newton High School."

Each school is expected to provide the Work Ready assessment to at least 50 percent of its senior class each year for three years.

"Our goal at Eastside High School is to use every available resource to make sure every child has every chance to succeed," said Principal Dennis Roddenberry in the press release. "The Georgia Work Ready Grant provides our students an opportunity to widen their scope of career choices. The larger their experience and expertise, the greater their chances of succeeding in their choice for a life's work will be."

The schools also will incorporate training tools into their curriculum to enhance interest at other grade levels.

"As principal of Newton High School, it is my goal to provide every child every chance to achieve educational excellence in the capacity that will best fit their needs," Dr. Roderick Sams said in the press release. "The Georgia Work Ready Grant would focus on those programs that would not only interest our students but make them more marketable in the work place."

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.