At the Jan. 8 Family Connections Collaborative meeting, superintendent Dr. Bill Truby explained the different ‘pots’ of money being used for school building programs, including Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, a Quality Zone Academy Bond and other bonds.’Only maintenance and operation are from property taxes,’ Dr. Truby said. ‘That takes care of salaries and other budget items. Ninety percent of that is people.’Projects are going well, with the stadium ready for turf, the auditorium expected to be finished months before schedule ‘“ in August or September rather than December ‘“ and the board offices nearing completion. The latter two will be available for community meetings.’Come by and see what your money is building,’ he said. ‘Every time you buy a sandwich in Lamar County, that penny is going for these projects.’The collaborative heard:’¢ A Jan. 22 education committee event is being planned.’¢ Almost 900 children get free books from the Ferst Foundation, after allowing for duplicate registrations and children who moved. Local volunteers are helping Upson County set up its Ferst program.’¢ PASSport for Success for parents will begin Jan. 14 from 6-8 p.m. at the Barnesville-Lamar County Library.’¢ The health department is the local liaison for Spalding Regional Medical Center’s First Steps program due to a lack of Lamar volunteers. It already sees some 14% of the families involved.’¢ Eleven teens are taking part in Youth Leadership Lamar, which begins new classes this week leading up to a spring graduation.’¢ The school family assistance program aided 35 families with gifts over the holidays and has money for emergencies during the year. It got school supplies from Gordon, among other community donations.’¢ The Lamar Attendance Intervention Team, working at the counselor level, has not had to convene to hear a truancy case this school year.’¢ The high school career fair, sponsored by the chamber of commerce, is set for April 2. The system middle school career fair will be March 12.’¢ Information will go to schools for National Smokeout Day March 25.’¢ The appreciation breakfast was attended by 30 community leaders, some of whom offered FCC donations.’¢ Members will evaluate the middle school mentor program, which has 13 mentors and 18 students, for 2009 after learning that age group is the target. Elementary level programs mentioned earlier also will be evaluated.’¢ Bylaw revisions will be complete by February; the resource directory is being compiled from several sources; and the community assessment is under way.’¢ A secretary is to be elected at the February executive board meeting.’¢ April Smith is to lead the 2009 Back to School Bash.’¢ Schools are seeking a Workforce Development grant to help with job training for eligible teens.’¢ Relay for Life will be held May 1-2 and organizers are soliciting teams and volunteers. The goal for the year is $62,000.’¢ Schools are looking at new schedules with more classes and increased teacher training in response to Georgia Performance Standards changes in math, now the fifth toughest in the nation.