Parent University gets grant

Parent University-Effingham received a $500 grant from Family Connection-Communities In Schools of Effingham County.

Parent University, held free of charge three times a year, is a partnership between the Springfield Central High School Association and Effingham County School System to promote parental involvement in education.

The courses cover a range of subjects, including family literacy, social media safety, CPR certification, financial aid for college, the dangers of bullying, managing a child’s behavior positively, and preparing students for jobs and careers.

The spring session of Parent University will be on April 5 at Effingham County Middle School.

Plans for the 2014 Spring Session

Plans are currently being made for the 2014 Spring Session of Parent University-Effingham. The session will be held on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Effingham County Middle School.  Registration and Continental breakfast will begin at 8:00 a.m.  Featured guest will be Shiona “Shi” Curry.


Shiona Curry “Shi” is 9 years old and has a natural approach to cooking. She shares a special message to children about eating healthy while enjoying their food. Since the age of four, Shi has been fascinated by cooking shows and has kept busy reading every cookbook she could get her hands on. She encourages children to take charge of their lives at a young age.

Shi has recently begun taping episodes for her upcoming cooking show entitled “S.N.A.C.’ it up!” S.N.A.C. stands for Shi’s Natural Approach to Cooking. “Shi” speaks that her cooking show will be on television where she can reach children of every race. She has written the S.N.A.C.’ it up! Cookbook and it will be available in October 2013.

“Shi” regularly conducts a series of workshops at schools in her local area. The workshops entitled “Has This Food Come Here From Outer Space?” and “S.H.A.R.E.W.I.T.H.” address different aspects of health (i.e. exercise, water, and healthy thoughts). For these students, “Shi” has become a household name. Recently, Shi was able to clearly see her mission when during one of her workshops, a child with food allergies, was excited to find that she too could participate in a taste testing because all of the ingredients were natural.snac-logo

When “Shi” is not cooking, she enjoys chess, knitting, watching cooking shows, playing with her brothers, and singing. Her overall desire is to continue spreading the message of health and hope everywhere she goes.

The general session will begin at 9:00 a.m. Breakout sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m. Kidz Academy will provide age appropriate activities for children grades PreK – 5. Youth Leadership classes will be provided for students grades 6 – 12. The children’s curriculum will include sessions on test taking tips and a presentation from our featured guest. Various vendors will be available during the day. The program will conclude with lunch and door prizes.

Parent University-Effingham promises to meet the needs of all attendees! The mission of Parent University is to educate, inspire and empower parents to meet the needs of their children by becoming their first and most important teacher. Our goals support Family Literacy by providing services that make sustainability changes in the family. Even though Parent University’s main focus is to provide information for parents, there are learning opportunities for non-parents also.

Parent University-Effingham is sponsored by the Springfield Central High School Association, Inc. and the Effingham County Board of Education. Parent University-Effingham is a non-profit organization with 501 (c) (3) status.

Drawing for all Expense Paid Vacation to the Golden Isles

  • 2 nights and 3 days for 2 adults and 2 children
  • Free passes to Georgia Sea Turtle, Summer Waves, and Lighthouse on St. Simon Island
  • Sponsored by Days Inn

Magic Marc from WTOC will be headlining the September 2013 Event

Marc Dunston, or Magic Marc, is the host and executive producer of “The Magic Marc Show,” a family-oriented children’s show on WTOC-TV. Accompanied by his pets, Bingo, Showbiz, Wizard, Bubba and Fluffy, he focuses on “magication,” Magic Marc’s own word for combining magic and education for kids. The energetic, and always optimistic magician, has performed as the opening act for Bill Cosby, Robert Klein, Grover Washington and others.


About Magic Marc

Marc Dunston "Magic Marc"
Marc Dunston
“Magic Marc”

The magic of giving inspired Marc Dunston, better known as Magic Marc, as a young boy in Philadelphia. He saw the movie Houdini and begged for a magic kit. After winning his elementary school’s talent competition with his very first magic show, he used the $25 prize to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner for a friend whose father had lost his job.

“That was the best trick of all,” Marc recalls. “I made a turkey appear on their Thanksgiving table that year.”

Marc practiced his magic skills on his three brothers, his sister and his parents. As a teenager, he spent most of his time at a hometown magic store, where he executed countless tricks on customers. In exchange for payment, the store’s owners allowed Marc select items from their inventory.

Eventually, Marc waved his magic wand and turned his passion into a career. His act has opened for Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Robert Klein and Grover Washington, among others. He has entertained at private parties for celebrities such as Spike Lee, Wesley Snipes, Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey. Television appearances include the first episode of Paula’s Home Cooking with Paula Deen, as well as shows on BET and HGTV. Corporate clients have included Gulfstream, General Mills, Rubbermaid, Burger King and Wendy’s, to name a few.

For children, Marc focuses on “magication,” his own word for combining magic and education. He is the host and executive producer of The Magic Marc Show, a family-oriented children’s show on WTOC-TV in Savannah that serves as a teaching opportunity for topics such as manners, kindness and giving.

“The show offers kids a safe place to get together, have fun and learn,” Marc says.

Marc is actively involved in Camp Sunshine, an annual gathering for children with cancer, as well as with local hospitals. He also presents shows at no charge to many non-profit organizations each year.

“Bringing energy and happiness to kids means everything to me and I use every opportunity I have to volunteer my time to help out,” he says.

Author was added to Marc’s accomplishments in 2010 with the publication of The Magic of Giving (Pelican), a children’s book that recounts his personal story.

Marc is a father of two, to son Julian and daughter Chloe, and husband of Dr. Kyrin Dunston, a Savannah physician.

Parent University to mark its first graduating class

Article by the Effingham Herald
By Paul Floeckher
[email protected]
UPDATED: September 23, 2013 7:38 p.m.
The second year of Parent University in Effingham County will begin with recognition of some of the people who made the first year a success.
Parent University-Effingham, a partnership between the Springfield Central High School Association and Effingham County School System to promote parental involvement in education, will be held Saturday at Effingham County Middle School. The entire program is free of charge.
Following registration and breakfast at 7:45 a.m., the program will begin at 9 with a ceremony for Parent University-Effingham’s first graduates. The parents earned 15 course credits by attending Parent University sessions during the 2012-13 school year.
“This will be a very special graduation group,” said veteran educator and Parent University dean Franklin Goldwire. “We’re proud to have this much interest in the program after only one year of it being in existence. We hope to see many more graduates in the coming years.”

Parents will be able to take part in three different informational sessions on Saturday. They will choose from a number of programs, offered from 9:40-10:35, 10:40-11:25 and 11:30-12:15.
The courses offered will include social media safety, CPR certification, managing a child’s behavior positively, financial aid for college, preparing students for jobs and careers and understanding the College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI).
“The bottom line is to get parents involved in their kids’ education,” Goldwire said. “Statistics tell us that, when parents are involved in their children’s education, the children seem to do better — and it carries through life.”
Lunch will be served at the close of the sessions. Various vendors will be on hand during the day, and the “kids academy” will provide age-appropriate activities for children ages 4-17.
Parent University-Effingham has expanded from two dates last year to three this year. Along with the one this Saturday, sessions will be offered on Feb. 22 and April 5.
“This is just a start,” Goldwire said. “We hope to increase our program over time to impact in other ways and offer additional opportunities to work with our young people in helping them become successful.”
For more information about Parent University or to register for Saturday’s program, call 772-3885, 754-3835 or 661-5290.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Effingham County Middle School

Registration begins at 7:45 a.m.

General Session & Graduation Ceremony for 2013 Attendees at 9:00 a.m.
Breakout sessions begin ‘9:35 a.m.
Kidz Academy & Youth Leadership Classes (Ages 5-17)
Program ends @ 1:30 p.m.
Everything is FREE at Parent University-Effingham!

To get further information about Parent University-Effingham call:
(912) 772-3885 (912) 754-3835 (912) 661-5290)


Parent University offers three Saturday learning sessions during the year. At each Parent University, participants are given an opportunity to choose three breakout sessions from an array of classes in which they could earn 1-3 credit hours.  Additional credit hours may be earned in other school and community functions as parent workshops, classroom visits, PTA/ PTO/Booster Club, and Parent/Teacher Conferences.  At the end of the school year, parents who have completed a set of learning sessions will graduate.


Click HERE to download the registration form

Click HERE to view the Schedule

Land swap planned for historic black school

Posted: April 26, 2012 – 12:01am

G.G. Rigsby/Effingham Now




Effingham County is planning on swapping about 97 acres of undeveloped land in the southern part of the county to the board of education for the former Central High School, which sits on 23 acres in Springfield.

Central High School was an “equalization” school that had only black students from 1956 through 1970. Some alumni have been meeting every week for the last year, discussing ways to preserve the school and bring more programs to area residents.

Statewide, about 10 of the equalization schools have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to Jeanne Cyriaque, African American programs coordinator for the historic preservation division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. She spoke about the schools at a recent meeting of Central High alumni.

Georgia spent $30 million building 500 equalization schools all across the state in the 1950s. It was a massive resistance to integration, trying to prove that schools for blacks could be separate but equal, she said.

Cyriaque, who started getting involved in preservation of equalization schools about 10 years ago, said buildings have to be at least 50 years old to be on the Historic Register, and the schools only recently became eligible.

She said the schools have a signature look. They tended to be built on large campuses, with more than one building, connected by outdoor walkways and interior courtyards. They had flat roofs and lots of windows.

The other equalization school in Effingham County was in Guyton. It has been torn down.

Franklin Goldwire, former principal at South Effingham High School and a 1965 graduate of Central High, said the school opened in early 1956 and served black students in grades one through 12 through 1970, when county schools were integrated.

The building then became a junior high school for students of all races. It was turned into a middle school, then was vacant briefly, then became an elementary school before being closed again, Goldwire said.

These days, the county’s recreation department uses the school’s gymnasium and some of the buildings are used for Head Start and Even Start programs.

A deal is in the works for the county to swap the vacant land for the high school property, which should be completed this summer.

South county landowners Chris and Barry Sheehy gave the vacant 97 acres to the county and later gave an adjacent 128 acres, also vacant, to the school system.

Barry Sheehy said he would like for the school system to own both parcels.

The swap is good for the county and the school system, said school Superintendent Randy Shearouse. The county has a lot of uses for the school, Shearouse said.

“It’s a real positive for us and the county,” he said. “I think it will work for everyone.”

Shearouse said the school system will have to declare the school as “surplus” and the county will have to hold public hearings before making the swap, which would be of property only, with no dollars changing hands.


What’s next

Cyriaque urged alumni to start paperwork to get the Springfield school on the National Register, which takes 18 months to two years. She suggests forming partnerships to preserve the buildings, because they are so large.

Other communities in Georgia use them for such things as community or cultural centers or alternative schools. A school in Rome, Ga., has classrooms that were adopted by community organizations and sponsor mentoring programs for area youth.

Cyriaque said if Effingham becomes a “certified local government,” it might qualify for some preservation grants to refurbish the school. Tourism grants also might be available.

County commissioners recently chose to put the new jail at the current jail site rather than at the Central High School site.

“I appreciate the history of the school and am interested in preserving that,” said county Commissioner Steve Mason, who also attended the recent meeting of the school’s alumni. “I don’t think there’s anybody that has any intention of bulldozing the school.”

Mason said some of the buildings could be used as an administrative area for the sheriff’s office. A youth leadership academy also would be a good use for the buildings, he said.

The alumni group, led in part by Goldwire, is interested in starting a parent university and tutorial after-school program.

“Our organization is in it for the long haul,” Goldwire said. “We vow to continue this mission even if we have to package it up and put it on the back of a pickup truck.”

County Administrator David Crawley, who also attended the recent alumni meeting, said the school is in relatively good shape but would need some utility upgrades — a better water source and lines for Internet access — before it could house county offices.

Crawley said the school presents an opportunity. “From our standpoint, the county has kind of grown into every old, cheap, free building we can get into,” he said. “A central school site would give us a central site for services. We’d have a chance to get out of old buildings that are not historic and are separated from other services.”

He said the grounds of the old school could be used more by the community. “The fence kind of inhibits use by the community,” he said. “There’s a lot of land, a lot of potential.”

Mason said the county commission might move from the former church building it meets in now to the school. “There are a lot of options there,” he said. “Let’s quit looking short-term.”

Parent University-Effingham is Saturday

Reposted from SavannahNOW

The second Parent University—Effingham is scheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 2.

Registration and a breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m. and classes start after a general session about 9:40 a.m.

Classes are designed to bridge the gap between home, school and community.

The university is for ages 17 and older, with activities available for children 4 to 17 years old.

Classes include an update on the new common core Georgia performance standard, protecting yourself on the internet, CPR basics, bullying and legal consequences, safety in our schools, how to prepare for parent-teacher conferences, understanding student testing and achievement and information on programs and services at the Effingham College and Career Academy.

Parent-University will be held at Effingham County Middle School, 1659 Ga. 119 South, Guyton.

For more information call 912-754-5680, 912-772-3885 or 912-754-3835.

All activities are free and lunch is also provided.

Door prizes will also be awarded.