Originally created 05/26/05

Children are given awards for academic achievement



More than 20 children in the Barton Village area received awards and certificates at a special Weed and Seed ceremony at which two of its programs came to a close.

The after-school programs, Kids' Caf, which provided meals for children, and Project Best, a tutorial program that helped children with homework, ended with the school year.

The ceremony was held at the Weed and Seed headquarters at Barton Chapel Community Center on May 19.

Bettye Jones, the program coordinator for Weed and Seed, said the organization gives the academic achievement and community service awards because the staffers want to show the children they are proud of them for doing well in school.

"We're just so happy these kids are excelling like they are with their work," she said. "They come to the center, they participate, they want to learn and help the community."

Six of the children who received certificates were given special recognition for outstanding achievement: JaQuitta Ross, DeMontrez Hawes, April Lewis, Bryan Budgett and siblings Kevontae and Kemiyah Jenkins.

Kevontae, 8, said he was surprised and excited to be the recipient of a new bicycle that went to the child who had excelled in academics, participated in several activities, had a good attitude and was helpful.

The timing was perfect, because his bike has been broken for more than a month, Kevontae said.

"I'm going to ride it ... tomorrow," he said. "It's wet (today)."

His sister was recognized with a trophy and was named Miss Weed and Seed for the 2004-05 school year.

"I'm excited," Kemiyah said.

Their mother, Keshia Jenkins, said she was proud of her children and was glad her son now has a bike. She was surprised by the awards.

"I knew they were getting something from school, but not from here," she said. "Kevontae made the straight-A honor roll and had perfect attendance."

Mamie Devore, Kevontae and Kemiyah's grandmother, also was pleased.

"I think Weed and Seed is doing a fantastic job with these kids, and I appreciate what they do for us with the after-school programs helping them with their homework and feeding them - that helps us out a lot," she said.

Belinda Sims said she appreciates what the organization does for her daughter, Jazzmine Sims, 9.

"I don't get off work until 5 (p.m.). This keeps her busy so she's not just at home watching TV; it's a wonderful program," she said. "She loves it, talks about it all the time. I hope she can come next year."

Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or samantha.mckevie@augustachronicle.com.