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Schools to dismiss early this Friday

Schools to dismiss early this Friday

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Newton County's public schools will dismiss early this Friday, Sept. 13, for parent-teacher conferences.

Dismissal times include 11:15 a.m. for elementary and theme schools, 12:15 p.m. for high schools and 1:15 p.m. for middle schools.

Students will eat lunch before leaving school.

Path2College sweepstakes end Aug. 15

Path2College sweepstakes end Aug. 15

ATLANTA -- Georgia's Path2College 529 Plan is making it easier for families to pay for college by holding two scholarship giveaways.

The deadline to enter both contests is Thursday, Aug. 15.

Mitch Seabaugh, director of the Path2College 529 Plan, said the two sweepstakes are designed to encourage families to start saving for college while their children are still very young.

"If 10,000 more Georgia families start saving for college, that's 10,000 more children who will have a head start toward achieving their dream when they graduate from high school," he said in a statement.

Seabaugh added that the sweepstakes also benefit young students because they provide money for schools and libraries.

The first contest -- the 10,000 Reasons to Save Sweepstakes -- will gives $10,529 to two lucky winners: a current Path2College account holder and a non-account holder. The two winners' schools will each receive $10,529.

Soccer camp begins next week

Soccer camp begins next week

COVINGTON, Ga. -- Abiding Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church will host a soccer camp all next week.

The Heroes of Faith camp, which is open to children ages 6-14, will be held July 8-12 from 9 a.m. to noon daily. It is coached by soccer players from Wisconsin Lutheran College.

Soccer skills are taught from a Christian perspective in this camp, which costs $45 per child.

Learn more and sign up at agwels.com.

Abiding Grace is located at 5500 Highway 212 North in Covington.

Ga. Connections Academy holding more information sessions

Ga. Connections Academy holding more information sessions

ATLANTA -- Georgia Connections Academy, the state's virtual public school for students in grades K-12, will hold several information sessions throughout metro Atlanta in the coming weeks.

Parents are invited to attend any of the free sessions to learn more about the program's offerings.

"Georgia Connections Academy, a tuition-free public school, delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere in the state," Georgia Connections Academy principal Heather Robinson said in a statement. "The combination of certified Georgia teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education."

Theme School to take 8th grade applications

Theme School to take 8th grade applications

COVINGTON, Ga. -- The Newton County Theme School will begin accepting applications for 8th graders next week.

DOWNLOAD | Theme School application

Completed forms can be turned in to the school between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. from Apr. 8-12.

The school is located at 2207 Williams Street in Covington. Learn more at newtoncountyschools.org.

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

The Autism Gap: The fight for insurance

ATLANTA -- Eight year old Ava Bullard is playing with her sisters, riding their bikes on their long country driveway. It is a simple act that defies those who said she would never talk, those who said she wouldn't function in the real world.

Ava was not a typical baby, or toddler.

Her mother Anna says, "You couldn't interact with her."

MORE | Complete coverage of The Autism Gap

Ava did not play with toys. Did not speak. Could not dress herself. Did not interact with her parents or sisters. Slept two hours a night. She was in her own world.

Anna says, "It's like she looked straight through me. She would just...it's like you weren't there, if you were in the room with her."

Anna Bullard took Ava from doctor to doctor for months. One doctor told the family Ava was 'just weird.'

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

YMCA removes economic barriers between those in need, programs

ATLANTA -- The YMCA of Metro Atlanta kicked off a campaign on Tuesday that will connect families in need with scholarships, allowing them to participate in YMCA programs. 

The campaign, Why It Matters takes place once a year. For 2013, board members Charlie Yates, Jr. and Carol Cookerly will co-chair the campaign as it works towards raising $2.7 million. 

"The Y has always had an annual campaign that helped meet the need for financial assistance," Cookerly said. "But, this marks the first year we are pulling together our 23 local Ys and launching a system-wide brand and effort to secure the funds we need to continue to play a pivotal role in Atlanta by helping individuals, especially children, reach their greatest potential."