11:35 AM

Employees test their Knowledge for Literacy

(L-R, back row) Andy Garrison, event Master of Ceremonies; Jackson EMC employees Mark Owen, Joe Hicks and Rick Baldwin; (front two rows) fifth grade students from the Jackson County area

Who was the only president to be unanimously elected? Which country is also a continent? Contestants at the Are You Smarter than A 10-Year-Old answered questions like these to raise money for the Jackson County Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP).

“Adult illiteracy is a serious issue and participation in events like this helps the community by helping those who use the services CLCP offers,” said District Manager Joe Hicks, one member of Jackson EMC’s trivia team.

Hicks, along with team members; Rick Baldwin, district coordinator engineering/operations; and Mark Owen, public relations/communications representative, the Jackson EMC trio finished second behind the team from the City of Jefferson but agreed the reason they spent their evening participating in the game of knowledge was to aid CLCP.

“With events like this one, our county CLCP gains awareness, secures community support and funding while increasing literacy for those in need,” added Sandra Fite, Jackson County CLCP executive director.

The event raised $5,000 that will be used for educational programs and services, including tutoring classes for low and non-reading adults and students studying for their GED, free books and study materials, scholarships for GED test fees, teachers to deliver services through the Adult Learning Center at Lanier Technical College, post-secondary scholarships, the adult honor society inductee program and careers and job placement services.

“This educational-based event helps the community as a whole,” added Hicks. “Statistics show that improved literacy rates even help the state attract new businesses, create jobs and increase self-sufficiency among all residents.”

The State of Georgia launched CLCP as a means of addressing adult literacy rates across the state. To qualify as a participating county in the program, a community must set a goal of reducing its functional illiteracy rate by 50 percent within 10 years, have local support, raise funds and mobilize community resources in a literacy campaign that functions within state certification guidelines.

The Jackson County CLCP is a community-based volunteer organization committed to literacy and lifelong learning. To volunteer as a tutor, classroom aide, office support and/or participate in special events, visit www.jacksoncountyclcp.org.