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OUR VIEW: Hats off to AGCAO for supplying students

Over the weekend, the Adaptive Growth and Cultural Advancement Organization gave away 800 backpacks to families in Troup County at HOPE Academy.

The backpack giveaway was an admirable example of the community coming together. Locals residents, churches and the City of LaGrange donated about $4,000 to the AGCAO, which in turn purchased backpacks and filled them with school supplies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every single person in different ways, and its economic effects have taken a harsh toll across our country. A backpack, a folder or a pack of crayons may seem like small gestures, but it’s a few less things for parents to worry about as they prepare for an unprecedented school year.

That’s why we were proud to see this event take place, and inspired by AGCAO’s work.

AGCAO founder and director Leon Childs works to give young people the tools they need for success. Through tutoring and mentorship, he helps give them an extra dose of education and discipline after the final bell has rung. No matter their background, Childs wants every child to achieve their dreams.

“If you get your education, go to school, monitor your behavior, you can basically become anything that you want to be,” he said.

One of AGCAO’s partners is Get Fed, another positive force in LaGrange that feeds the community. Get Fed co-founder Anthony Talley spoke about the importance of community service. He understands that we all need to think a little bit less about ourselves, and a little bit more about one another.

“It’s all about coming together for something bigger than yourself,” Boddie said. “It’s bigger than bags, it’s bigger than school supplies, it’s bigger than voter registration.”

It wasn’t just backpacks that volunteers provided. They were also mindful of public health imperatives, wearing masks and meeting people at their car window, offering free masks to those who needed them. One volunteer also took it upon herself to register voters simultaneously, so that more people may participate in our democracy and fulfill their civic duty.

We wish the AGCAO and its partners the best in their future endeavors to empower children.

“If we empower the youth, and make them strong, this country, this city, this town, the whole universe will be a lot stronger,” as Childs said.