July 17, 2014 Issue


Support literacy through the Ferst Foundation

Dear Editor:

Few things are more crucial to a child’s success than the ability to read. The facts are compelling. Competent readers do better in school. Skillful readers manage to complete more years of education. In addition, they ultimately get better jobs and earn higher incomes over their lifetimes. And importantly, they have richer lives because they gain understanding about themselves and the world around them.

Since 2010, the Ferst Foundation of Jefferson County has worked diligently to improve reading skills and pre-literacy in our preschool children. Our organization is affiliated with Georgia’s Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy. Our goal is to provide a free book each month to every child in Jefferson County under the age of 5.



Through generous support from local clubs, businesses, and individuals, Jefferson County children have been recipients of over 16,000 free age-appropriate books. There are about 1,100 children under age five in Jefferson County with over 50 percent currently receiving books. Our goal is for every child to receive these books. In an effort to sustain and expand this program, we are launching the second campaign called “$100 from 200.” We are looking for 200 individuals and businesses to commit $100 to support this transforming program.

There is a great need in our community to provide opportunities for preschool children to improve their literacy and be better prepared to learn when they enter school. Many children in low-income areas do not have age-appropriate toys or books in their homes.

The Ferst literacy project has attributes that make it worthy of your support. Chief among them is the program’s proven performance. In communities where the plan has been in effect for a while, Ferst readers have shown an increased readiness when they begin their formal schooling. Moreover, there is evidence that indicates in Ferst homes, the parents take an active role in reading to their children.

Secondly, because Ferst vigorously controls costs, the books are delivered for very small sums, making each donated dollar go farther. For instance, each Ferst book costs on average $3.00. If you purchased one of these books, you could expect to pay two to three times as much ...a dramatic difference! Also, the Ferst Foundation of Jefferson County is run totally by community volunteers. As a result, we have minimal overhead costs, so every dollar contributed goes toward the purchase of books and every dollar contributed stays in Jefferson County.

Please join us by participating in “$100 from 200”. Any individual, business, or organization can make a contribution by mailing a check to the Ferst Foundation of Jefferson County at 306 E. Broad Street, Louisville, GA 30434. Checks should be made out to Ferst Foundation with Jefferson County in the memo portion of the check. For additional information, call 478-625- 3751.


Patricia Edwards,
Ferst Foundation of Jefferson County
Jefferson County

Gordy takes issue with Times story and local decisions

What The New York Times said about Jefferson County and its pervasive poverty as exhibited by our low income levels, obesity, mortality table, low college graduate level, etc., is all too true.

However, as one who has visited the “Big Apple” and seen winos sleeping under stairwells in the bowery, I’d say NYC is a fine place to visit, but this writer would not live there. Sweep around your boroughs, Times!

Getting back to our local problems, the NAFTA law was enacted after it was sanctioned by the GOP and the democrats during the Clinton years if memory serves me correctly.

But that is only part of our problem. If one goes to local courts on “plea day” Fridays, I’d say 95 to 98 percent of defendants entering pleas are African Americans, many of whom are basic illiterates and jobless that the system has failed.

To add insult to injury, we have package shops here, and wine and beer can be had in supermarkets. I’m no prude and believe, as did St. Paul of old, when he touted moderation. He told his protégé, Timothy, “Drink ye yet a little wine for your stomach’s sake.”

If I am correct, a few weeks ago, the county commissioners unwisely, I think, put a referendum on the ballot in November, if passed, that would allow Sunday sales of beer and wine in the unincorporated areas of Jefferson County and allow pouring also. As Gomer Pyle would say, “Shame, shame, shame!”

Then going on two decades ago, along came Gov. Zell Miller who proposed to Georgia voters the legalization of a state lottery. Georgia voters bought this idea hook, line and sinker! One local lost a wife and new pickup due to gaming addiction, add to all this the large amount of illegal drugs being sold in Jefferson County. Don’t rock the boat, lawmen: election nears! Is it little wonder Georgia (and local) jails are bulging at the seams?

When I visited New York many years ago, this writer climbed the narrow stairs up into the crown of “Lady Liberty.” While at the Statue of Liberty I took a picture of Her on that September Day in 1968 and jotted down Emma Lazarus’ immortal words, “…keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp,” she cries with silent lips, “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send the homeless, tempess-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Lady Liberty, I am sure, weeps for the thousands of waifs streaming unaccompanied into the U.S. from Central America who have become pawns of petty politicians from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on down to our city halls and courthouses.

Without vision, a people perish!

What has all this got to do with the Times article?

Seems to me that during the Carter years, he had to bail out the Chrysler Corporation and New York City.

The world seems to think our nation and Pres. Obama have a magic genie that can solve all their problems. Locally, I for one, believe Jefferson County has yet to see its best days, but demon rum, a “scratch off” ticket nor a marijuana cigarette isn’t the solution. That is found in a school book and visits to the local library.

Times mind your own business!

With all Jefferson County’s problems, along come Louisville’s city fathers putting a referendum om the November ballot that would allow, if passed, pouring of distilled spirits and Sunday sales of alcohol at our two package shops.

As Pyle would say, “Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!”

As for our local Latino problem, they work for low wages and wire half of that back to Mexico.

They also…most do…drive unlicensed. May also are picked up for DUI, subsisting on beans, rice and chili peppers.

I’m disappointed in Jefferson County’s “popsicle” politicians!

Solve our problems, y’all, don’t compound them or go back to kindergarten.


Bob Gordy,

Thanks for donations

We would like to say thank you to everyone who participated in the clothing drive sponsored by the Department of Juvenile Justice and Pine Hill Youth Ministry. It was a great success.

If you dropped off clothes, boxes, shoes, or just came by to help, we thank you. We would like to send a special thank you to the businesses that donated items including Dollar General, Maxway, Goody’s, all in Louisville, and Ingles in Wrens. Also, we send a special thanks to The Clothes Closet in Louisville for accepting the remainder of the clothes which will continue to benefit our community.

Safarrah Harmon
Karrelldo Howard-Williams
Janice Murray


The News and Farmer P.O. Box 487 Louisville, GA 30434
(478) 625-7722 - (478) 625-8816 fax
E-mail us at: news@thenewsandfarmer.com

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