Editorial: Three cheers

Jul. 25, 2014 @ 02:57 PM

A great community resource

This week's math and science camp for local middle-school-aged children was yet another great example of the quality community partner Sevier County has in Walters State Community College.

The camp, which provided hands-on math and science learning through a diversity grant geared to engage students interested in the subjects — specifically those from under-represented groups in related career fields — is exactly the kind of thing some neighboring counties might not have access to.

Walters State has proven a tremendous asset to our community through the years, namely by providing a quality community college experience to young adults and nontraditional students. But it has also provided additional learning opportunities, such as dual-enrollment courses for area high school students, topical community workshops and even non-credit courses such as culinary arts.

In years to come, we expect the campus — and its impact on Sevier County — to only grow. And that's a good thing.


The gift of reading

Minors in custody at the the Sevier County Juvenile Center recently received a nice gift from a caring part of the community.

Friends of the Sevier County Public Library System, with the help of local publisher Townsend Press, donated a collection of books and videos to the facility in hopes of providing some solace those inside.

Library workers started looking to raise funds for the books after they visited the juvenile center and saw that the library could use some attention.

“We noticed it had a collection, but it had been a while since had been maintained or added to,” said Anjanae Brueland, who was business coordinator for the library system at the time and spearheaded the efforts to get new books for the center.

Library staffers approached juvenile center personnel and got their guidance on books that would be good for the youths who stay at the center. 

The books range from literary classics to inspirational bestsellers like the "Left Behind" series. Townsend also supplied some nonfiction books on issues the kids could be facing, like abusive homes and teenage pregnancies.

It's good to see people seeking to help kids in trouble. 


Seven years of helping others

Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministry's Treasures From the Heart thrift store program is celebrating its seventh year this month.

The stores, one in Sevierville and another in Seymour, provide secondhand items, at reasonable prices, to Sevier Countians. In return, the money raised is used to the further the cause of the ministry — "to rescue the poor and needy in the Smoky Mountain area by providing recovery services in Jesus’ name.”

The nonprofit, which was started 12 years ago, seeks to demonstrate "the love of Christ in an incredible way, enabling us to serve thousands of needy or desperate families and to prevent homelessness which is nestled in and around the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee."

So far, it's working. SMARM helps thousands of citizens in need of food, shelter or other vital needs annually.

The group's work does not go unnoticed.