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Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

Seamless Summer program feeds children when school is out

Seamless Summer program feeds children when school is out

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education will once again offer its Seamless Summer nutrition program when school lets out for the year.

Seamless Summer provides free meals to children under the age of 18. No registration or income verification is required to receive the food.

According to the GDOE, more than 77 percent of the 500,000 breakfasts and 1.1 million lunches it serves during the school year are provided for free or at a reduced price. Georgia ranks in the top five nationwide for states with children who participate in the School Breakfast Program and/or National School Lunch Program.

In the past, more than 2,200 locations across Georgia have served meals through the Seamless Summer program.

Learn more at fns.usda.gov.

Sequoyah HS theater director now in Ga. Thespians Hall of Fame

Sequoyah HS theater director now in Ga. Thespians Hall of Fame

CANTON, Ga. -- The theater director at Cherokee County's Sequoyah High School is the newest member of the Georgia Thespians Hall of Fame.

Gerald Parker was honored with a surprise induction during this year's Georgia Thespian Festival in Columbus.

Parker began working at Sequoyah in 1990 and became assistant director of the school's thespian troupe the following year. He was named head of the theater department in 2006 and went on to become chair of the fine arts department in 2010. He was also honored as Sequoyah's Teacher of the Year in 2012.

Since taking over the theater department, Parker has led Sequoyah to a number of local honors, including the Schuler Hensley Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre. In 2012, his student, Ben Fierke, was cast as the lead in an International Thespian Festival production of Aida.

7th Amendment essay competition to award 2 scholarships

7th Amendment essay competition to award 2 scholarships

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association is holding a scholarship essay competition for high school seniors.

The contest focuses on the 7th Amendment, which is an American's right to a trial by jury.

To enter, a college-bound senior must write an essay in response to this question:

Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, the 7th Amendment Right to Trial by Jury has been the cornerstone of the Civil Justice System. And yet, in the two-plus centuries since, the Right to Trial by Jury has been under near-constant assault. In your opinion, what role does the 7th Amendment play in the 21st Century, and why do you believe that it is important to safeguard this right?

All essays must be submitted to the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association no later than Monday, Apr. 7. One grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. The runner-up will get $500.

7 educators win Round 3 of Innovation in Teaching

7 educators win Round 3 of Innovation in Teaching

(WXIA) -- Seven Georgia teachers have won the third round of Gov. Nathan Deal's Innovation in Teaching competition.

The contest recognizes and rewards math and language arts educators who develop creative strategies to teach and reach their students.

Each winner receives a $2,000 stipend and a $5,000 grant for his or her school to implement the lesson plans. Their methods will also be featured in a Georgia Public Broadcasting program.

A fourth round of winners will be announced in the spring.

The Round 3 winners include:

Lindsay Bowley
Teaches 8th grade English Language Arts
Creekland MS, Cherokee County

Bynikini Frazier
Teaches 1st grade English Language Arts
Hodge ES, Chatham County

Jan Moore
Teaches 3rd grade
Holsenbeck ES, Barrow County

Amy Palermo
Teaches 6th grade English Language Arts
River Trail MS, Fulton County

56 Cherokee students earn National Signing Day scholarships

56 Cherokee students earn National Signing Day scholarships

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Nearly 60 seniors at Cherokee County's six public high schools accepted sports scholarships on National Signing Day.

The scholar-athletes were recognized Wednesday during a special brunch at the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Conference Center in Canton.

Highlights from the event included twin brothers Austin and Avery Smith signing baseball scholarships for the same college, and the awarding of the county's very first bowling scholarship.

COMPLETE COVERAGE | National Signing Day

Cherokee County's 2014 signees include:

Cherokee HS
* Victoria Cassidy, soccer, Reinhardt University
* Savanna Dover, softball, Southern Illinois University

Doodle 4 Google contest accepting entries

Doodle 4 Google contest accepting entries

(WXIA) -- It's back! The wildly popular Doodle 4 Google contest, which gives children the opportunity to create a Google Doodle, is now accepting entries.

Students in grades K-12 can enter the competition by drawing the Google logo with the theme, "If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place ..."

"So many of the world's greatest inventions started out as simple doodles -- just think of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of flying machines long before airplanes were made. We hope students will think big and surprise us with their creative ideas, just like they've done in years past!" Google said in a release.

Google will choose one finalist from each state. Last year's Georgia winner was Christine Jeong, a 5th grader at Wilson Creek Elementary School in Johns Creek. Meet Christine and see her winning doodle.