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Award-winning writers, activists artists at Spelman for Octavia Butler Celebration

Award-winning writers, activists artists at Spelman for Octavia Butler Celebration

ATLANTA -- An accomplished group of writers, activists and artists from the speculative fiction and film communities will converge at Spelman College, April 16-17, for the Octavia E. Butler Celebration of Arts and Activism.

Teens of Excellence Prom Closet Program needs formalwear donations for Male and Female Teens

Teens of Excellence Prom Closet Program needs formalwear donations for Male and Female Teens

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- The Housing Authority of Fulton County (HAFC) and the Resident Advisory Board (RAB) want donations of formal wear and accessories for the fifth annual “Teens of Excellence” Prom Closet Program.

HAFC is seeking donations of gently used and clean prom/formal dresses and tuxedoes of all sizes for high school seniors graduating in May 2014. Donations of larger size formal wear are especially needed.

The program seeks to help single parents, grandparents and/or guardians on fixed incomes to provide prom wear without the disappointing choice of saying no to a teen about purchasing formalwear because of limited income.

The formal wear is provided to high school seniors, with priority given to Housing Authority of Fulton County residents. In 2013, more than 250 high school seniors in Fulton County received donated formal clothing to wear to their proms.

As in previous years, items needed for the 2014 Prom Closet include:

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

Ga. Race to the Top 'Year Three' Report

(WXIA) -- The U.S. Department of Education recently released its "Year Three" Report for the 12 states participating in the Race to the Top grant initiative.

Educational practices and successes in Georgia were highlighted throughout the report.

"We have taken on some major initiatives and our success is a direct reflection of the collaborative efforts between our department, other education agencies and the hundreds of participating teachers, principals and district leaders around our state," Dr. Susan Andrews, Deputy Superintendent of Race to the Top Implementation in Georgia, said in a release.

"While educational reform work is never easy, we are pleased with the significant progress that our state has made as reflected in this report," Andrews added.

Some highlights from the report include:

* Nearly 300 Georgia teachers were placed in state public schools from alternative certification programs.

Georgia schools rank high on U.S. News and World Report's 2015 'Best Grad Schools' list

Georgia schools rank high on U.S. News and World Report's 2015 'Best Grad Schools' list


(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Several Georgia schools scored well on U.S. News and World Report's 2015 list of Best Graduate Schools.

U.S. News says it analyzed more than 1,300 graduate programs to determine this year's rankings.

The University of Georgia's public affairs program is ranked No. 4 among the nation's top public affairs schools -- higher than Princeton University (No. 5). Georgia State University's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies is ranked No. 23, while Georgia Tech's program is ranked No. 53.

Georgia Tech's graduate engineering program is ranked No. 6 among engineering programs, tied with University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The top five engineering grad schools are, in order, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, California Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University.

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

Ga. Connections Academy accepting students for 2014-15 school year

(WXIA) -- A few seats are still available at Georgia Connections Academy for the 2014-15 school year.

Georgia Connections Academy is a virtual K-12 public school that allows students to learn at their own pace. It is fully accredited and open to all school-age Georgia children.

"We are enrolling 1,000 additional students across all grade levels for the coming academic year," lead principal Heather Robinson said in a release. "We have a waiting list as we open enrollment, so we encourage parents to get their applications in now."

Georgia Connections Academy will hold a number of information sessions across the state for parents who want to know more. Additional enrollment information is available at connectionsacademy.com/georgia-virtual-school.

Upcoming information sessions in the Atlanta area include:

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.