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New Immunization Requirements for Rising 7th Graders

Georgia’s immunization requirements for children attending 7th grade have been revised.  Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, 7th  graders and new entrants into Georgia schools grades 8th through 12th, will be required to have  Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) and MCV (meningococcal conjugate) vaccines prior to entering school. 

Parents, please plan to have your child vaccinated well in advance of the start of the 2014-2015 school year. Seventh grade students will not receive class schedules unless they have these vaccines. If you have questions please contact your school nurse.

Ga. libraries launch college savings sweepstakes

Ga. libraries launch college savings sweepstakes

(WXIA) -- Public libraries across Georgia will participate in this year's Summer Reading Program and college savings sweepstakes.

The initiative, which is hosted by Georgia's Path2College 529 Plan, will award one grand prize and four regional scholarships to five lucky participants. The winners will be chosen at random from five groups.

The grand prize is a college scholarship worth $5,529 and a $1,529 grant for the winner's library. The runners-up will each get $1,529 to put toward a Path2College 529 Plan and $529 for their libraries.

Georgia parents, grandparents and legal guardians can sign up their children at path2college529.com. Entry closes on Aug. 10.

The program provides students with activities throughout the summer and encourages them to read by giving them prizes for finishing books, ebooks, audiobooks and magazines.

Participating library groups include:

Ga. Connections Academy graduates Class of 2014

Ga. Connections Academy graduates Class of 2014

(WXIA) -- Georgia Connections Academy recently held a graduation ceremony for its Class of 2014.

Many classmates met for the very first time during the event at the Gwinnett Center.

"We are very proud of our graduates," GCA lead principal Heather Robinson said in a release. Altogether, the Class of 2014 secured $1.33 million in college scholarship offers.

Emily McClure of Columbus is GCA's valedictorian. She will attend Georgia College and State University on the Zell Miller Scholarship in the fall.

Learn more about Georgia Connections Academy, the state's free virtual charter school for students in grades K-12, at georgiaconnectionsacademy.com.

RELATED | Georgia Cyber Academy graduates first class

Ga. Cyber Academy graduates first class

Ga. Cyber Academy graduates first class

(WXIA) -- The Class of 2014 is the very first class to graduate from Georgia Cyber Academy, the state's free online public school.

The school will hold a graduation ceremony at noon on Saturday, May 31 at the Gwinnett Center. More than 300 graduating seniors are scheduled to walk across the stage.

"We're so proud of each of our graduates, all of whom have taken the individualized learning that comes with GCA's online curriculum and worked with GCA's world-class teachers to adapt it to best serve and support their own academic successes," GCA head of school Matt Arkin said in a release.

Members of GCA's Class of 2014 were accepted to some of the country's top colleges and universities, including Cornell University, Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia.

Deaf Valedictorian gives inspirational speech

Deaf Valedictorian gives inspirational speech

COBB COUNTY, Ga-- Evan Mercer was born deaf, but it wasn't discovered until he was four years old. Specialists told his parents he would never read, and speaking was out of the question. Evan defied the prediction in his valedictorian speech at Harrison High School May 22nd.

"Deafness has taught me to never give up," he said from the stage. "Not when experts tell you it can't be done. Not when you've fallen so far behind, quitting seems the only way out. Not when achieving your dreams seems an absolute impossibility."

Evan told the crowd it took him seven years to say a simple three-word sentence. "Understand and quitting is easy," he said. "It's also permanent."

His speech is full of wisdom out of place in a high school auditorium.

"If you want something, refuse to allow the skeptics to poison it."

"Find your own impossible and bring it to its knees."

Students encouraged to read this summer

Students encouraged to read this summer

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has created a 2014 Summer Reading Challenge for students in all grades.

The program was announced Thursday at Timber Ridge Elementary School in Cobb County. Its goal is to close the achievement gap that widens during the summer months, when children often don't read.

"No student should have to start the school year having fallen behind," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said. "That's what we know, and that's what we're committed to preventing, because that loss is preventable."

The challenge encourages students to read for at least 15 to 30 minutes every day. The GDOE outlined suggested summer goals for children based on their school years:

* K-2: 10 books
* 3-5: 8 chapter books
* 6-12: 5 fiction books and 5 nonfiction books

Little River ES principal wins KSU award

Little River ES principal wins KSU award

WOODSTOCK, Ga. -- The principal of Woodstock's Little River Elementary School is this year's Distinguished Graduate for the Specialist in Educational Leadership at Kennesaw State University.

Christian Kirby was presented with the award during a ceremony last week.

Cherokee County Schools' deputy superintendent Dr. Brian Hightower said Kirby shows "tremendous potential as an educational leader."

"We are proud to have Mr. Kirby serve as a principal within our school district," Hightower said in a release.