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Clayton pupils meet for
leadership summit

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Dozens of Clayton County high school students will participate in the Clayton County Archway Youth Summit today.

The summit, with the theme, "Empowering Students to Change their Schools and Neighborhoods," takes place from 8 a.m., until 3 p.m., at the Jim Huie Recreation Center, located at 9045 Tara Boulevard, in Jonesboro.

During the summit, student leaders will discuss strategies to make improvements in overall school attendance, parental involvement, school discipline, and ways of engaging students in school, according to Rhonda Burnough, community relations liaison for Clayton County Public Schools.

"We will work together in small groups. They will take [initiatives] back to their school principals to make sure it meets the needs of their school," said Burnough.

Once the principal approves the final plan, student representatives will present the recommendations to their fellow students for feedback.

"They may do it through a survey, to see if other students have the same concerns," Burnough said. "They may make an announcement in homeroom for students to express concerns."

The summit is sponsored by the Archway Partnership Project, a program of the University of Georgia Public Service and Outreach, and Cooperative Extension. The Archway Project collaborates with community entities to create solutions to community issues.

Dr. Deryl Bailey, an associate professor of counseling and human development services for the University of Georgia College of Education, will deliver a keynote speech on the theme of empowering students for change, according to Burnough.

Nearly 80 students are expected to attend. "All of the Clayton County public high schools have been invited. Each high school was asked to pick six students -- two freshmen, two sophomores, and two juniors," said Burnough.