Bartow County Georgia’s Children need your help. Sign up today to be a CASA volunteer

Bartow’s Children Need Your Help!
CASA Training to Start January 22nd
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“Helping an abused or neglected child can be one of the most rewarding forms of volunteerism,” according to new Advocates for Children President Rachel Castillo. “Our Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provide a source of support for children in foster care and are a vital part of the process to move these children to a safe and permanent home.”
Beginning Jan. 22, a series of training sessions will prepare new volunteers to evaluate a child’s situation by talking to anyone who knows the child and reporting recommendations in the best interest of the child to a judge. CASA’s are vital to the outcome of children in the foster care system, according to Castillo.
The number of foster children is growing in our area, so we are looking for people with “strong communication skills, compassion for children and ability to be objective,” she said. Typically, the Division of Family and Children’s Services caseworkers have such an extensive caseload that their time with each child is limited. CASA volunteers can invest time in investigating, interviewing and researching what and who will best serve the children.
“CASA volunteers are the support and the voice for the children we serve,” Castillo explained. Abused or neglected children can have multiple DFCS case managers and even multiple foster family placements.  The one constant and stable presence in their lives is their CASA volunteers. “It’s a priceless relationship.”
The qualifications are simple. In addition to a deep compassion for children, volunteers must be 21 or older and undergo a background check. In addition, a 40-hour training program prepares prospects for a wide array of situations and guides them in managing the process.
Each day, Georgia has an average of 33 confirmed cases of child abuse. That devastating figure is indicative of a broad-spectrum problem that stems from drug and alcohol abuse, anger, a family history of abuse and other issues. CASA volunteers can help children navigate the foster system to find safe, stable and permanent homes.
The training will equip volunteers to help transform the lives of children who need trusted adults. “Becoming a volunteer will definitely change the life of a child,” Castillo said, “but it also changes the life of the volunteer. It’s a wonderful way to enhance your purpose in life.”
For details on the training program, call Ava Lipscomb at 770-386-1060 or email

Atlanta Falcons First Down for Fitness – Help spread the word to our local school systems.


Atlanta Falcons First Down for Fitness presented by The Employees of Marsh & McLennan and Publix Supermarkets is a three-month program (September 7 through November 30, 2015) designed to challenge third through seventh grade students throughout the state of Georgia to participate in fitness activities, eat healthy and lead a healthy lifestyle.  The program incorporates components of the NFL’s Play 60 initiative, the American Heart Association, and Fuel Up to Play 60 nutrition program available through the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA).



Teachers must register online at as well as:

  • Provide a copy of your county or school’s wellness plan—(unless we already have it on file)
  • Agree that each participating student will engage in 60 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week and have at least one discussion a week relative to healthy eating and healthy lifestyles



  • Students who complete the program will receive a signed certificate signed by program Atlanta Falcons Ambassador, Head Coach Dan Quinn
  • Participating schools will receive physical fitness equipment
  • Participating classes will receive the following:
  • A chance to receive a school visit from Atlanta Falcons players and cheerleaders
  • A chance to receive a school visit from the Fuel Up to Play 60 program through SUDIA when you register your school in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program at
  • A chance to receive a visit from Freddie Falcon and learn more about his P.L.A.Y. Book for Fitness Program:
  • Play 60 Challenge teacher guide and student game planners
  • Five (5) registered teachers will be selected at the 2015-2016 First Down for Fitness Teachers of the Year.  Teachers can nominate themselves or be nominated by an administrator, fellow teacher, student or parent and recipients will be selected based on their dedication and innovative approach to the program.  Each Teacher of the Year winner will receive a $1,000 grant to purchases physical fitness equipment for their school.





  • The PLAY 60 Challenge Online Tracker helps schools and youth organizations track their students’ physical activity minutes during the 4-week Challenge.  Students can compete with other classrooms across the nation for the most physical activity minutes and compare their results using the real time data that is available in the tracker!  Register for free at
  • Participating teachers can visit to download sample lesson plans, view classroom physical fitness activities and explore more great resources



  • Participating schools can sign up online at The website contains information to help you and your students make healthy changes in your school including information about how to apply for grants to make those healthy changes.



May 28                                   Pre-registration begins

July 1                                      General registration begins

August 14                              Registration ends

August 17-21                         Participation confirmation                      

September 7                           Program begins

September 20                         American Heart Association PLAY 60 Challenge registration opens

October 1                               American Heart Association PLAY 60 Challenge begins

October 12                             2014 First Down for Fitness MVPs nomination period begins

October 30                             2014 First Down for Fitness MVPs nomination period ends

November 11                         2014 First Down for Fitness MVPs announced

November 29                         MVP winners recognized at an Atlanta Falcons Home Game

November 30                         Program ends

January 18                             Program evaluation emailed to teachers

February 19                           Final program evaluations due

March 25                                Teacher of the year nominations opens

April 18                                  Teacher of the year nominations close

May 9                                     Announce Teacher of the Year Winners


Important News, Dates and Events for Bartow County Georgia

You are invited…
2014 Georgia Family Connection Conference Wednesday, October 22, 2014 – Friday,
October 24, 2014 at Marriott Augusta at the Convention Center. The Conference is packed
with workshops and guest speakers including Lt. Col. (ret.) Rob “Waldo” Waldman, The
Wingman Foundation, David Nelson, Master Instructor for VitalSmarts (an innovator in
corporate training and leadership development), and Bill Bolling, Founder and Executive
Director, Atlanta Community Food Bank. In keeping with Georgia Family Connection
Partnership’s commitment to the collaborative development and responding to Collaborative
requests, Bartow County has been awarded $600 in scholarship funds to community
partners interested in attending. Early Registration is $300.00 until July 15th, From July 16 –
Sept. 9, registration will be $350.00, and late Registration will be $400.00. For more
information, visit Please let Tina know if you are interested at
AID Alliance of Northwest Georgia
Effective at the close of business on June 30, 2014, AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia will
close permanently. HIV and AIDS related services in Northwest Georgia will be available as
follows: Medical Care for low-income individuals – Northwest Georgia Specialty Care in
Rome (706) 295-6701 or 1-877-531-2273. Housing for individuals and families who are
Disabled, Homeless and HIV-Positive – Highland Rivers Residential Support Services in
Rome (706) 233-9023 x2039. Free HIV Testing- Bartow County Health Department, 100
Zena Drive, Cartersville, GA 30120 and AIDS Resource Council in Rome. Support
Services and Referrals – AIDS Resource Council in Rome, Ga 30165, (706) 290-9098
Bartow Give a Kid a Chance is a one day event when Bartow County children in need can
receive a new backpack, school supplies, a T-shirt, haircut, and health screenings – all free
of charge, thanks to our generous sponsors and community, This year’s event will be held
Saturday, July 26th at the Bartow County College And Career Academy-738 Grassdale
Road in Cartersville. Registration is now open @
Deadline for student registration is Saturday, July 12.
Family Promise of Bartow County is accepting donations for their first fundraiser. An Online Action will begin July 13th and run through July 16th. The team is seeking donated services such as landscaping, music lessons, car repair, and items of all kinds! If you would like to support this wonderful new community project, contact Daryl Gessner @
Goodwill Career Center
The July Multi-Employer job fair will be this Thursday, July 10th from 10am-12:30pm This is open to both employers and community resource. Some of the employers include, Wells Fargo, Apollo Staffing, and 2Work Staffing. A representative of the Supported Services for Veteran Families program of HOPE Atlanta will also be present to provide information and assistance to Veterans. Many positions will be available ranging from Bank Tellers to Landscapers. Agencies will need to complete a registration form and return to the Career Center as soon as possible. To access the registration form and July’s Career Center calendar, visit the Collaborative website @ – Weekly Update – July 7th or visit For more information, contact James Benham @ (770) 276-7036 or
Must Ministries Back to Work class (4-hour class required for the ServSafe class) are available in Marietta – Monday or Thursday from 10:00-2:00, Canton -Wednesday or Friday from 10:00-2:00, Smyrna – Tuesday or Thursday from 10:00-2:00, CAY – Dallas call for days and times 770.445.9303. On July 22 and 23 Must Ministries will sponsor a ServeSafe class from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm at Must Ministries in Canton. This 2 day class helps to prepare works to work in a restaurant kitchen or in a catering environment. Restaurants are required to have a ServSafe certified worker on site for each shift they are open. Participants who attend both days and score a 70 or above also receive free, non-skid footwear required to work in a restaurant. The rate of workers returning to work after this class is over 70%! To register, Beth Ray @ or 770-790-3883. You can also download the registration form at – Weekly Update July 7th.
Soul Sista’s
A Different World College Fair/ Career day is a free community event that we will hold for all youth ages 10-19 (boys and girls) held on July 19th from 9am-2pm. The youth must be dressed in business attire as we have a full training day on interviewing for jobs, the college experience, how to apply for financial aid, we will have HR managers on site to inform them of what they are looking for, help them with building a resume when there is no job experience and also have different college representatives on site to help with any questions, concerns, etc., also members of the armed services on site as well so offer their after high school views. We hope to enlighten those that aren’t sure these are your options, those that are ready insight on your 1st year experience, and those that are seeking employment here are your options and how to nail the job. For more information, contact Pamela Whitfield @
(New) Bartow Family Resources
Please join Bartow Family Resources for light refreshments and a tour of the facility as they celebrate all that God is doing in Bartow County. The Open House will be July 24th from 5pm-7pm at 20 Douglas Street (between Tabernacle Church and the Booth Museum. For more information, contact 770-382-7224. Cartersville Downtown Development Held the First Friday of each month, First Friday Downtown allows patrons an additional opportunity to shop, dine and play. In addition to more than a dozen downtown eateries, various retail shops and service providers remain open until 8 PM providing even more to see and do on Friday night in downtown Cartersville. On November 7th, the Downtown Development Authority would like to spotlight nonprofits. At no charge, interested nonprofits may set up a table in Friendship Plaza and highlight their services, as well as sale/promote any items, activities or needs. This is a great opportunity to for agencies in need of specific items the opportunity to help get the word out, and even encourages donations. The event will be held from 5-8 PM with possible kids’ activities and musical entertainment. For more information, contact Tara Currier @ 770-607-3480 or
(new) Partnerships for Healthy Communities Child Abuse Intervention & Prevention will sponsor a course for pre-hospital providers and law enforcement. Designed to educate first on how to recognize signs of child abuse, document their findings, report suspicions, and prevent child abuse, the course will be offered July 23rd @ 2:00pm at Cartersville Fire Department. The training is open to 911 dispatch, fire, law enforcement, EMS, and child welfare. Continuing education offered for law enforcement and EMS, To register, contact Brian Irish at or 678-758-1461.
(New) Better Brains for Babies, sponsored by the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, is now accepting applications for the next BBB 2-day Community Outreach Educator training workshop, to be held September 4 – 5, 2014 at the Sheltering Arms Model Teaching Center in Atlanta. The application deadline is Tuesday, July 15 at 5:00 p.m. The qualifications for being a BBB educator include a bachelor’s degree or higher and documented experience in educating others about early childhood development. Trainees must make a commitment to share brain development information at least once per year and to report all uses of BBB information in the online reporting system. If you know of someone who might be a good BBB educator, send him/her to the BBB home page (, where we have a link to the online application. For more information, contact Diane Bales @ dbales@UGA.EDU

Community News – help be a part of improving your Bartow County Community


From Bartow/Polk Alcohol Prevention Team

The team needs your input on this very series issue facing our community. Friday’s presentation called upon our Collaborative to help by completing a survey. Please visit: and use the code 1010.

If you wish to have a copy of Friday’s PowerPoint, please let me know. The Team has also created a GREAT Facebook page…check it out @


From Jennifer Stephens, Cartersville Career Center

We are asking for help in identifying skill areas that should be covered in the Bartow County College and Career Academy (BCCCA) curriculum. This will help Bartow County produce the right candidates with the right set of skills to go to work employers. You can help by completing the following survey on survey monkey….

or you can contact Jennifer @ 770-387-3760 or


From Liz Fox, Advocates for Bartow’s Children

We need volunteers for duck labeling on May 10, 4 pm @Riverside Park. You may contact Advocates @ 678-605-9023 or contact Brenda Cooper @ (

Rockin’ on the River, free concert, will be held May 11, 7 pm @ Riverside Day Use Area.

5K Duck Dash & Fun Run will be held May 12, 8 am @ Cartersville Primary School and the one-of-a kind Duck Derby will be held May 12 from 10-5 @ Riverside Day Use Area…lots of Fun Activities for the whole family. Contact Advocates to adopt ducks or for more information……678-605-9023.


From Jamie Potts, AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia

Annual AIDS Walk Cartersville will take place Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Friendship Plaza in Cartersville. There will be food, prizes, and entertainment. The 2.1 mile Walk will begin at 11:00 a.m., registration beginning @ 10:00. Pre-registration fee is $20 for 13 and older and $10 for children 12 and under. Day-of registration increases to $25/$15. Register early by going to to register on line or download a registration form. Call the AIDS Alliance office at (770) 606-0953 if you would like to have a registration packet sent to you. For more information contact Jamie @ 770-606-0953 or




FREE Webinar sponsored by Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at 3:00 Eastern Time. The evaluation study includes students’ reports of bullying others and being bullied, students’ perceptions of adults’ responsiveness to bullying, students’ attitudes about bullying and teachers’ perceptions of bullying and school actions to address bullying within Pennsylvania program schools. To register for this online event visit the Webinar Registration Page The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.


Additionally, the Collaborative receives quite a bit of bullying prevention information from…might want to check them out.


Hearts for Families provides technical assistance and training for this national evidence-based program. Local trainings include:

Nurturing Skills for Families (basic home-based visitation component), June 4-8 in Rome-

$550 per person; Basic Home Visitation Training, June 4-5 in Rome-$250 per person; Nurturing Program for Parents and their Infants/Preschoolers – home-based, June 4-8 in Rome- $550 per person. For more information or to schedule a training, contact Gina Lord,


Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System is available on the CDC website. WISQARS is an interactive database system that provides customized reports of injury-related data. The module provides cost estimates for injury deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits where the patient was treated and released. The module allows users to create reports of: medical costs (e.g., treatment and rehabilitation), work loss costs (e.g., lost wages, fringe benefits, and self-reported household services), and combined costs (medical plus work loss) based on a number of variables including: intent and mechanism (cause) of injury, body region and diagnosis of injury, geographic location (for deaths only), sex, and age. For more information you can visit

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive!

-Howard Thurman

Tina G. Grubbs

Executive Director
Bartow Collaborative
475 East Main Street, # 218
Cartersville, Georgia 30121 678-719-2041

Rock the River May 11th

Rockin’ on the River Concert
presented by Cletus T and Bert Tilley
May 11, 6-9 p.m.
Advocates Young Professionals is proud to present their annual Rockin’ on the River Concert and Cornhole Tournament.
Join AYP and Advocates for Children on the eve of the Duck Derby as we ring in a Quacky weekend under the stars. Freeflight will be serenading the crowd with a number of covers sure to please any music enthusiast.
Bring your own picnic basket, beverages and dancing shoes for this free (that’s right, FREE!) event. Want to be closer to the action? You can purchase a table for eight for $100 by contacting Karen at or by filling out a registration form at
In addition to live entertainment, food and art from local vendors and a rockin’ good time, AYP will be hosting a single elimination cornhole tournament. Registration can be found at but don’t delay! Spaces are filling up quickly.
Grab your friends and family, picnic basket and Advocates pride and come Rock the River with us next Friday!

Duck Derby Weekend May 11-12

It’s Duck Season!

Duck Derby Weekend May 11-12


It’s here! We are so excited to bring groovy back to Bartow County! We are celebrating 11 years of racing ducks with the 2012 DuckFest: Peace, Love and Ducks.

There is a far-out event for everyone. Whether you are purchasing your Quack Pack, registering to run in the 5K Duck Dash or showing us your dance moves at the Rockin’ on the River Concert, there are plenty of ways to be involved!

Friday May 11, 6-9 p.m.- Come shake a tail feather with us as we listen to the rockin’ stylings of Freeflight! Held at the Riverside Day Use Area, this free concert on the lawn is open to all those wishing to attend. Pack your own picnic basket and blanket as we kick-off a duck filled weekend! Want a seat closer to the action? Reserve a table for 8 for $100 by contacting Karen White at or by calling 770-387-1143. Don’t forget to Duckorate yourselves and your tables!

Saturday May 12, 8 a.m.- Walk, run or waddle your way across the finish line in our 8th annual 5K Duck Dash and Fun Run! On-site registration will begin at 7 a.m. on May 12 at our Cartersville Primary School starting location. Take advantage of our Early Bird registration which gets you a reduced registration fee and guaranteed shirt size of your choice if you register before May 1…so get to Quackin’! The Duck Dash will begin at 8 a.m. and Fun Run racers will gear up for their race at 8:45 a.m.

This year there will be a chip timing system on our flat, fast course, so that those runners can use the Duck Dash as a Qualifier.

Visit www.AdvoChild org to register and learn more about how you can pound the pavement for prevention on May 12!

Saturday May 12, 10 a.m.- 2012 DUCK DERBY! Have you bought your duck yet? We are looking to paint the town with peace, love and ducks this year and we can’t do it without you!

This year’s Duck Derby will be held at the Riverside Day Use Area where we will watch 30,000 (our goal this year!) ducks race down the Etowah River to win you some amazing prizes! First duck across the finish line wins a 2012 Honda Fit courtesy of Honda Carland North plus dozens of other groovy prizes!

Visit one of our Duck Sales sites around Bartow (look for the yellow “Get Your Ducks Here!” signs) or visit us online at to buy your ducks today! If every person in our community buys one duck we would be making a HUGE difference in the treatment and prevention of child abuse.

Get your feathers ruffled! Buy a duck! Support Advocates!


Two successful events under our belt!Every Child’s a Star and Spring Benefit March 24 was a busy day for Advocates’ supporters, staff and volunteers! Every Child’s a Star and the Spring Benefit both proved to be wonderfully successful events thanks to the care and dedication that our committees put into them.

A special thank you to Mary Clayton Gilbert and the Every Child’s a Star committee for putting on a one of a kind show for the many spectators that came to cheer on our talent. We had singers, dancers, hoola-hoopers and more wow the crowd that evening as we ushered in the 2012 Every Child’s a Star Winners!

  • Overall Winner: Morgan Cornwell
  • Primary School Winner: Madelyn Brooky
  • Elementary School Winner: Halle Collins
  • Middle School Winner: Samantha Sims
  • High School Winner: Barry Arrington
  • Group Winner: The Newsies: Tyler Bucher, Clark Cumbee, Thomas Gilbert, Evan Nichols, Mathew Pryor, Clayton Reis and David Pye

The 2012 Spring Benefit presented by Black Oak Asset Management proved to be another beautiful evening of live music, gourmet dinner, and live and silent auction items donated by our generous community. We would like to send a huge thank you to our Spring Benefit co-chairs, Regina Shaw and Barbara Terry and our tireless Steering Committee. Because of the you, this was our most successful Spring Benefit to date!

Thank you to all those that came out to support these events and for continuing to show the thousands of children we serve just how dedicated and caring their community really is.


Share the AdvoLove – Photo adventure


Share the AdvoLove is a community wide photo
 adventure to help raise awareness about our kids in need, what is being done for them, and how you and others can help. This is your chance to make a personal impact and help spread the word about how Advocates helps to make Bartow County a better place to be a child.


We are asking our AdvoFans, friends and neighbors to participate by following these simple steps:


   1. Visit Duck Central loacted at 650 Henderson Dr., Suite 408 Cartersville, GA 30120, to have your photo taken.

   2. Write a message about why Advocates is important to you on poster board provided by Advocates.

   3. Have fun! Your photo can be a group shot or solo. Bring your pets, children, props, or anything else that helps to express your message.


Photos will premier at the Rockin’ on the River Concert on May 11 and will be distributed for display in local businesses this summer. All we ask is that you bring a positive message to share with your community, a smile, and your friends so we can continue to Share the AdvoLove!

Advocates for Children, community hold candlelight vigil

Advocates for Children members and visitors lit candles Monday night at the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center as a way to remember victims of child abuse. JASON LOWREY/The Daily Tribune News

Advocates for Children members and visitors met on the steps of the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center Monday night, gathering for Advocate’s newest event, called a Light of Hope ceremony. Every candle lit was a way to recognize children in foster care and observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Patty Eagar, executive director for Advocates, described the vigil as one more way of drawing attention to child abuse in Bartow County. “We’re trying to raise awareness of child abuse prevention and what people can and should be doing to fight child abuse and to help those who are already victims of child abuse.”

“We decided we needed to do more than plant pinwheels in the ground,” she continued, referencing the pinwheels planted at the NorthSide Bank in Adairsville.

Advocates board member Barry Adcock opened the event with a prayer saying, “Lord, help them [parents] to know and help us to communicate that there are resources out there for them if they are struggling with finances and marital issues and other family problems, and that taking it out on the child is not the answer.”

Bartow County Department of Family and Children’s Services Director Lynn Green, Bartow County Juvenile Court Judge Velma Tilley and Assistant District Attorney Rosemary Greene spoke to the crowd, and all emphasized the importance of preventing abuse and helping victims.

Judge Tilley in particular described the large number of people that work to protect and take care of the county’s children. “It is thanks to the hard work of the folks of the DCFS, at Court Appointed Special Advocates, our foster parents, our folks that end up adopting children and all the volunteers that are on our citizen’s review panel, the professionals that come and testify or that provide therapy for our children — it takes truly a village, and thank you for being part of that village.”

Advocates for Children’s next major event is a presentation featuring psychologists and sexual abuse experts Julie Medlin and Steve Knauts at the Cartersville-Bartow Chamber of Commerce. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and the pair will discuss their recent book “Avoiding Sexual Dangers: A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Your Child.”