Officials: students are responsible for their educational development today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2007


CAMDEN &045;

Sen. Gerald Dial, executive director of the Alabama Rural Action Committee, told eighth graders Tuesday at the Camden School of Arts and Technology they could no longer blame their teachers, parents or anyone else for not succeeding.

Email newsletter signup

The students were part of a group of about 100 area residents visiting their school for the kickoff of the Tombigbee Action Commission. The 10-county area was formed to develop coalitions focusing on health, education, economic development and workforce development. There are eight regions in the state.

The commission will function as the Black Belt Rural Action Committee, which was formed three years ago. Officials promised not to reinvent, but invest &045; time and collective energy to continue Alabama’s recent wave of success. There is no money involved, Dial said, and volunteers were asked to sign up for one of the committees.

Dial encouraged cooperation between the various communities in Wilcox, Dallas, Sumter, Choctaw, Washington, Clarke, Marengo, Perry, Monroe and Conecuh counties. He gave the example his hometown of Lineville and Ashland, where Gov. Bob Riley is from.

Margaret Bentley, state co-chair of the rural action committee, said their work is beginning to pay off, since all of Alabama’s counties have unemployment figures under double digits.

But Dallas, Wilcox and Perry counties are in the top five in unemployment in the state.

Rep. Yusef Salaam has been named co-chair of the workforce development committee. Wayne Vardaman of the Selma-Dallas Economic Development Authority, has been named as a co-chair of the economic development committee.

The students didn’t know what all the talk of economic and workforce development was about.

Eighth grader Joey Jones said, &8220;it was great.&8221; Keldric Johnson put it in a language his

classmates could understand.