Chamber Connection Issue 7 DawsonCo-Newsletter_Vol7_3-0 - Page 2

The President’s Desk ISSUE 7 • August 2017 Dawson County Chamber Board of Directors Jo Brewer, 2017 Chair Mandy Power, 2017 Vice-Chair Regina Varnado, Secretary/Treasurer Steve Melching, Immediate Past Chair Brooke Anderson, Ex-officio Charlie Auvermann, Ex-officio Kendy Bennett Carla Boutin John Drew Chris Gaines, Ex-officio Kathy Galbraith Damon Gibbs, Ex-officio Eric Graves James Grogan, Ex-officio Heather Halpern Christie Haynes, Ex-officio Gwen Kellar Troy Lindsey Jason Stott Lynn Townley Warren Welch Amanda Yenerall Dawson County Chamber Staff Christie Haynes, President and CEO Brenda Mason, Director of Operations Melissa Mayton, Membership Director Davida Simpson, Marketing and Events Director Kaitlyn Silva, Welcome Center Coordinator Kristen Graves, Intern Contact us: P.O. Box 299 44 Commerce Drive Dawsonville, GA 30534 706-265-6278 The Dawson County Chamber Connection newslet- ter is published quarterly by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce. Contents of this publica- tion are copyrighted and may not be reproduced or redistributed without express consent from the Dawson County Chamber. 2 | Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Our Chamber believes that a strong school system and excellent learning environment is a vital part of ensuring that we enjoy a strong community, economy, and workforce. To that end, we are thrilled to partner with the Dawson County School System to promote busi- nesses and organizations that offer Wi-Fi hotspots. As Superintendent Gibbs discusses in our cover story, the Dawson County School System recently began a mobile device initiative, Dawson LEAD (Learning and Engage- ment Achieved Digitally). By fall of 2018, all Dawson County students will be issued a mobile learning device. While the school system has taken substantial actions to ensure students have access to high-quality technology at school, it is also important to consider that many of these devices will be used in a home without proper internet access (nearly half of Daw- son County students are eligible for free or reduced lunch). Research has shown that even if students of low socioeconomic status do have internet access, they are often under connected. To increase internet accessibility for students during out of school hours, the Dawson County School System is creating an online directory to provide a list and interactive map of free Wi-Fi hotspots, sponsored by organizations and businesses in Dawson County. We encourage you to sign-up to share your Wi-Fi during the early eve- nings and on weekends with students who need to complete home- work or school projects. The free Wi-Fi partnership is positive for education and our com- munity. Our hope is that business owners, pastors, administrators and managers of organizations throughout the county will register their place of business in support of teaching and learning in Dawson County. There is no charge for registering your business or organi- zation and front door vinyl clings will be provided to all partici- pants. You can sign-up to participate by visiting the Dawson County Schools home page at dawson_l_e_a_d/free_wi_fi/ or by calling the Chamber at 706-265-6278. One of the many things I love about living and working in a small town is the opportunity for partnerships like this Wi-Fi partnership. Whether you have children in our school system or not, I think we all agree that improved opportunities and support for our students leads to a stronger community. Thank you for all that you do to support our school system through mentoring, sponsorship, attending games, hosting interns, and so much more. We cannot wait to see what heights our students will reach in the coming year. Go Tigers! S. Christie Haynes President & CEO