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Generals Mills makes $170K grant donation to organizations

General Mills of Covington presented $170,000 worth of grants to schools and organizations in Newton and Rockdale counties and surrounding areas. Pictured, from left, are Brenda Bennett, Advertising Director at the Citizen newspapers; Kathy Garber, Newton County School System grant coordinator; and General Mills representatives Katrina Young and Mark Bible.

General Mills of Covington presented $170,000 worth of grants to schools and organizations in Newton and Rockdale counties and surrounding areas. Pictured, from left, are Brenda Bennett, Advertising Director at the Citizen newspapers; Kathy Garber, Newton County School System grant coordinator; and General Mills representatives Katrina Young and Mark Bible.

COVINGTON -- Covington's General Mills plant continued to show its dedication to area schools and organizations by giving them grants. Many of the grants announced Wednesday morning will help parents get more involved with their children and will encourage students to live healthy lives.

At a brief ceremony, General Mills presented $170,000 in grants to schools and student-based organizations that service Newton, Rockdale and surrounding counties. The grants encouraged healthy student living and community involvement.

"Our mission at General Mills is nourishing lives -- making lives healthier, richer and easier," said Mark Bible, plant manager of General Mills. "We accomplish our mission every day through the quality of our brands like Cheerios. We also live that mission through our involvement and support in the communities where we live, work and play. Covington is our home, and we are very proud to be able to provide financial support through our foundation to the inspiring and difference-making organizations that we are recognizing."

Last year the company also gave $170,000 to area schools and organizations to fund programs that promote healthy living and physical fitness. In years before that, it has also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to educational organizations.

This year, area groups and organizations that split the grant funds include the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, Camp Twin Lakes, Community Arts Association in Newton County, Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts, JAM Community Development Center, J.H. House Elementary School, The Learning Center, Newton County Community Partnership, Newton County Senior Center, Newton County Sheriff's Office, Prevent Child Abuse Newton, Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale, Project ReNeWal, Rainbow Community Center, Washington Street Community Center and YMCA of Covington.

The Newton County School System and three of its schools -- Fairview Theme and Ficquett and Middle Ridge elementary schools -- also received grants.

NCSS will use its grant funds to help distribute Kidsville News, a fun, educational, free newspaper aimed to develop and promote learning, literacy and character education, at Newton County schools. Fairview's grant will support its Family Fitness Program; Ficquett's will fund its Making Every Moment Count program that identifies physical activities and behaviors to promote healthy lifestyles for students and their families; and Middle Ridge's grant will fund its Fitness for Everyone program that encourages students to stay physically active.

"I think General Mills has been a tremendous supporter, not only to the school system but to a number of organizations that support the youth of this community," said Kathy Garber, NCSS grant coordinator. "We've got to get parents, families and the community all involved, not only in the intelligence development of our children but in the development of a healthy lifestyle. General Mills is a tremendous asset to Newton County."

Also in Newton County, grants will help the Art Association fund a Young Artists Program to expose students to art, the Learning Center to fund a literacy program that provides parents with education and services to help their children for reading readiness, the Newton County Community Partnership continue its community garden outreach, the Newton County Senior Center fund its enrichment program for health and exercise activities, the Newton County Sheriff's Office for its CHAMPS program to encourage students to have resistance against destructive behavior like drugs, gangs and bullying and other groups for programs involving parenting, healthy living and education.