HAPPY LABOR DAY! :: Monday, September 1, 2014

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Town Square colored purple for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day in Macon County

Draped in purple, with ribbons on their shirts, family and friends gathered on Town Square on Thursday evening to recognize Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day. As the fourth leading cause in cancer related death, pancreatic cancer stands as one of the deadliest cancers known to man. With little progress made in research in the last 30 years, 76 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first year of their diagnosis and 95 percent of patients die within the first five years.

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Local organizations are volunteering their time on Thursday to provide warm meals to neighbors in the community.

Different churches such as the First Presbyterian Church in Franklin will be offering free meals to the public, which require no reservation. For the ninth year, on Thursday, from noon to 2 p.m., the community is invited to Tartan Hall on 26 Church Street in Franklin for a sit-down meal. Jim Jeary, who serves on the church's community relations team, said that the meal isn't focused on anything religion, but instead is a way for the church to give back to the community. “I think events like these do a world of good for the community, plus it helps get the church out there,” said Jeary. “We want to be able to offer a meal to those who may not be able to celebrate Thanksgiving and for those who may not get to see their families. Anyone who comes through our doors are treated just like family.”

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One of the greatest joys of the holidays can be to give back and to put others before self. The holidays are not about receiving, but should be more about giving in the spirit of the holidays. Year after year local organizations, met with community donations and volunteers, do just that.

From law enforcement officers taking children out for a day of shopping, to local marines making sure that every child has a present to unwrap on Christmas morning, the Macon County community is known for helping out their neighbors during the holidays.

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Nearly 50 percent of the children in Macon County are not prepared for kindergarten. They lack the capability to recognize letters and sounds, are unable to tell you the color of their shirt or what shape is on the table, and are ill-prepared and lack basic vocabulary. With children entering the school system already behind, by third grade they are far behind the state mandate to have every child reading on or above grade level. Those children will have to spend a good portion of their educational career playing catch-up, and some may never reach that point.

One important tool that has been statistically proven to enhance a child's learning and increase proficiency is early literacy. Children who learn to read at an early age are proven to do better after entering school.

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published: 10/18/2013
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