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Dalton State launches textbook lending library


Faith, Hope and Charity Recycle Store volunteers present a check to the Gilmer campus of Dalton State College for the creation of a textbook lending library. From left, site coordinator Sandy Ott, Bonnie Wells, Millie Kelley, Sharon Elkins, Cheryl Zellinger, Bev Kuseliaskas, FHC scholarship recipient Michael Higingbotham, James Bell, professor Dr. Andy Meyer, interim president Dr. Margaret Venable and professor Barbara Tucker. (Photo by Whitney Crouch)
 
by Whitney Crouch
wcrouch@timescourier.com


One of the hardest lessons facing college students is that higher education is not cheap. In addition to rising tuition and fees, the steep price of textbooks is a common financial hurdle associated with pursuing a degree.

Through a partnership with Faith, Hope and Charity Recycle Store (FHC), the Gilmer campus of Dalton State College is looking to alleviate some of the costs of textbooks for students.

The local thrift store presented a check for $2,500 to the college Tuesday, Jan. 20, for the creation of a textbook lending library.

During the check presentation, Gilmer site coordinator Sandy Ott thanked the FHC volunteers for their impact on the community and stated, “Students will benefit (from the textbook library) every semester for years to come.”

Millie Kelley, a FHC representative, described delivering the funds as “Christmas, birthdays and every other holiday when people give gifts” rolled into one.

“There’s a real need for textbook assistance,” she continued, explaining how FHC scholarship recipients often state the funds they receive will go toward purchasing books and class materials. “We hope this idea will trickle back to other campuses ... because this help is needed big time.”

“If we can make it easier for students to be more successful up front, we want to make it possible,” Ott stated. “Anyway we can eliminate the hardship or the expense of coming back to school, we want to do it.”

Ott encourages students to take advantage of the resource, which can be utilized by Gilmer County residents in good academic standing who complete an application process.

“Don’t let the cost of textbooks be a stumbling block for coming back to school,” she urged.

Items can be checked out from the new library for an entire semester, and the selection of textbooks on hand will particularly be geared toward general core courses.

The funds from FHC will be used to purchase hard copy books, as well as a classroom set of “iclickers”, which are used as a classroom response system for polling students.

FHC scholarships

In addition to its efforts to launch the textbook library, FHC remains active in the realm of education by awarding $108,000 in scholarships each year.

Kelley noted the idea for the scholarships came about eight years ago and stemmed from a desire “to help people realize the need to raise their socioeconomic level, and the best way to do that is to increase their education.”

Applications and scholarship requirements are available at www.fhcrecycle.org.

Number of Gilmer site graduates increasing


The Gilmer campus’ current enrollment is 253 students, which Ott said is just slightly less than the fall numbers, and attendees can now complete their first two years of college classes at the site.

Ott went on to state that she has been pleased to see the increasing number of Dalton State College graduates who began their college journey at the Gilmer site, which is located on Dalton Street in downtown Ellijay. In December, 21 Dalton students graduated who originally started classes in the downtown Ellijay facility.

Additionally, the school has seen an increase in the number of dual enrollment students from area high schools. Indeed, this semester more than 40 high school juniors and seniors are taking courses at the Gilmer site.

“The students that come from the high school do so well,” Ott stated, noting that faculty members are often surprised when they realize the students are still in high school. “They excel in classes and give 110 percent.”

To learn more about Dalton State College, visit the website www.daltonstate.edu. 
 
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