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Organization Announces Pulaski County as State's Newest "Community for Opportunity" | Community Spirit

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Organization Announces Pulaski County as State's Newest "Community for Opportunity"


Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Community Affairs Saralyn Stafford will announce Pulaski County’s designation as the state’s newest Communities of Opportunity (Co-Op).

That's according to an Archway Partnership news release.

The Pulaski County Board of Education and City of Hawkinsville will host the event Tuesday, June 21 at 3 p.m.

Pulaski County Commissioner Brooks Bailey and City Commissioner Shelly Berryhill will sign the contract recognizing formal designation.  

Priority efforts to reduce teen pregnancy by 25% in Pulaski County by the year 2013 will begin under this program.

The news release says that each day in Georgia, 62 teenage girls find out they are pregnant.

Fewer than 50 percent of teen mothers graduate from high school and less than 2 percent earn college degrees. 

Children of teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely and at low birth weight. 

Working with the University of Georgia’s Archway Partnership and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, concerned citizens have developed a two year plan to reduce teen pregnancies and improve the quality of life in their community. 

This plan strives to increase awareness about the issue, improve communication and develop an effective strategy to reduce teen pregnancy.  The Teen Pregnancy Reduction Committee will meet regularly to coordinate local efforts and organize Pulaski County’s first Teen Maze, an initiative successful in reducing teen pregnancy in many communities in Georgia and throughout the country. 

A Teen Maze is a life-sized interactive game for teenagers to experience real life consequences of poor decision making in a safe environment.  Pulaski County plans to host the Maze in the spring of 2012.

Launched by Governor Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Rural Development Council in March, 2007, the Communities of Opportunity (Co-Op) Initiative is a collaborative, locally-driven community development strategy focused on enhancing the economic vitality of rural Georgia communities.  Co-Op is administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), in partnership with a number of public and private partners. 

“Earning this designation took a lot of effort and required significant teamwork.  DCA is very pleased to recognize the staff, citizens and leaders of these communities,” said DCA Assistant Commissioner Saralyn Stafford in the news release.

As a part of the Communities of Opportunity strategy, Pulaski County will also enhance and improve its web presence to provide better communications and service to residents.  A work group representing business, government and citizen interests has formed to study current websites, identify needs for improvement and work with local interests to create a more user friendly platform. 

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