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AKA holding peace rally for middle school students

AKA holding peace rally for middle school students

ATLANTA -- Members of metro Atlanta's chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will hold a peace rally and workshop for middle school students over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend.

The event will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Ivy Community Center in southwest Atlanta. It is part of the 40 Days of Peace project, which aims to spread service and kindness through the country.

The peace rally and workshop will aim to teach young people about Dr. King's mission, and to raise awareness of crime and crime prevention strategies. Law enforcement members will also give an interactive presentation to encourage children to stamp out gangs and bullying.

Middle school students from several metro Atlanta counties -- Cobb, Cherokee, Clayton, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale -- are expected to participate.

Soccer tournament bringing hundreds to Gainesville

Soccer tournament bringing hundreds to Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Hundreds of people will descend upon Hall County this weekend for a sub-regional soccer tournament.

The event, which is sponsored by the Olympic Development Program (ODP), will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and continue through Sunday at the Allen Creek Soccer Complex in Gainesville.

"We are fortunate to have a complex like Allen Creek Soccer Complex available for use," Melissa Brooks, Georgia Youth Soccer Women's ODP coordinator, said in a statement. "This is one of the few in Georgia that can accommodate so many teams and games at one location."

Top middle and high school soccer teams from Alabama, Georgia, and North and South Carolina will play 74 games during this weekend's tournament.

Learn more about ODP at usyouthsoccer.org.

Belk santafest to spread holiday cheer

Belk santafest to spread holiday cheer

ATLANTA -- Belk department stores will host their first-ever santafest holiday celebration on Saturday, Dec. 1.

All santafests will be held from noon to 3 p.m.

Highlights include crafts, family-friend activities, Christmas treats and, of course, the chance to meet Santa Claus. Participants can enter a drawing to win a $50 kids wardrobe; three winners will be chosen from each Belk store.

Visit belk.com for more information and to find your nearest store.

Path2College scholarship coloring contest ends Sept. 30

Path2College scholarship coloring contest ends Sept. 30

ATLANTA -- Georgia children in Pre-K through 5th grade can now color their way to a college scholarship from the Path2College 529 Plan.

In honor of College Savings Month, the statewide college savings program is hosting a coloring contest with a $1,529 scholarship at stake.

To win the money, children must color a picture of Hootie the Wise Old Owl and complete a sentence: When I graduate, I'm going to be a ________.

Download the picture of Hootie here.

Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 30 and must be received no later than Oct. 5. More information about the contest can be found at path2college529.com.

A winner will be randomly chosen in mid-October.

Action Dash 5K running in 5 Ga. cities

Action Dash 5K running in 5 Ga. cities

ATLANTA -- Become a superhero and run in support of a timely cause this weekend.

The Action Dash will be off and running in five North Georgia cities on Labor Day -- Monday, Sept. 3.

RELATED | Run a holiday race in metro Atlanta

The race, which is presented by Action Ministries, raises money for housing, education solutions and necessities for Georgians in need.

Runners are encouraged to dress in superhero costumes; prizes will be awarded to some of the most innovative getups. Pets, both in and out of costume, are also welcome to join the race. Participants will receive T-shirts.

Learn more about the Action Dash. The race will be held in:

Protect Your Kids and Pets from Summer Heat

Protect Your Kids and Pets from Summer Heat

Summer in the south is officially here! With rising temperatures, it is important to take steps to protect those around us who might be vulnerable to the heat, like our children and pets.

Did you know that we lose heat by sweating? Water literally evaporates into the atmosphere and sucks the heat out of our bodies. Children produce even more heat than adults. This is because they have more body surface for their height. Children are also closer to the ground – and to hot pavement. They can easily become dehydrated or overheated.

Here are some tips to keep your children and pets safe in the heat.

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

Ga. Connections Academy gets high marks from parents

ATLANTA -- Georgia Connections Academy has made the grade.

The state's first free virtual charter school received very positive feedback from the parents of its students during the 2011-12 school year.

Almost 90 percent of the parents who responded to a survey gave the school a grade of either A or B, and 92 percent they would recommend GACA to other parents. Eighty-five percent of parents said they were more satisfied with GACA than with their children's previous schools.

About 52 percent of the school's 610 families responded to the survey, according to GACA officials.

"Our parent satisfaction survey really illustrates our commitment to accountability," principal Heather Robinson said in a statement. "We value this parent feedback and use it to help make our virtual school program better. I am very pleased with the results, in particular the positive feedback about our teachers and the curriculum."