Greene County Alumnae Chapter presents plans for Census at Delta Day at County Commission

County Commissioners seated L to R: Tennyson Smith, Lester Brown, Allen Turner and Rashandra Summerville. Deltas standing L to R: Evelyn James, Glenda Hodges, Johnni Morning, Miriam Leftwich, Jacqueline Allen, Shirley Stewart, Alfretta Crawford, Vibertha Coleman, Isaac Atkins, Carolyn Young, Nancy Cole, Phillis Belcher, Marva Smith, Florence Williams, Loydleetta Wabbington and Carol Zippert.

During the March 9, 2020, meeting of the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. shared their plans to tackle the 2020 Census. As part of their Political Involvement and Social Action activities, the chapter voiced its commitment to do their part to ensure Greene County and all of their service area are counted correctly on the Census. Along with other community partners and leaders, the chapter will host a Be Counted: 2020 Census Forum on Tuesday, March 24 at 5:30p.m. as well as volunteer at multiple sites on April 1st, National Census Day.
The County Commissioners were open and receptive to the chapters plans.
Isaac Atkins is Chapter President; Florence Williams is Political Involvement and Social Action Committee Chairperson.

FOGCE Federal Credit Union holds Annual Meeting

The Federation of Greene County Employees (FOGCE) Federal Credit Union held its 44th Annual Meeting on December 19, 2019 in the recently dedicated Willie Carpenter Conference Room in the credit union offices at 112 Prairie Avenue, on the Courthouse Square in Eutaw, Alabama.
Joyce Pham, Credit Union Manager announced that as of December 31, 2018, the FOGCE Federal Credit Union had assets of $1,314, 887, which included $896,874 of member’s shares, a $100,000 non-member deposit and the rest in reserves and undivided earnings. She reported a surplus of $10,076 in income over expenses for the year.
She reported that the credit union had $466,544 in outstanding loans to members, $111,867 in cash, $31,000 invested in its building and the rest invested in other credit unions. She indicated that the credit union had 896 members.
Rodney Pham, speaking for the Credit Committee stated that the credit union had made 449 new loans in 2018 for $338,675 including five car loans for $105,535.
He said the credit union has a variety of loans, from small unsecured loans up to $500, larger loans for home repair, appliances, school expenses and other personal loans, as well as car loans for new and used cars.
Carol Zippert, President of the FOGCE FCU reported on the history of the credit union movement and the specific growth of the local credit union since 1975. “We are saving and borrowing each others money. In one of the smallest, poorest counties in Alabama, we have accumulated over $1.3 million by working collectively together. In 44 years, we have grown the credit union to over a million in assets and moved from rented rooms in the back of other buildings to our own offices at the Courthouse Square in Eutaw.”
Zippert indicated that the FOGCE Federal Credit Union was regulated and supervised by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a division of the U. S. Treasury Department. The NCUA also guarantees deposits in the Credit Union up to $250,000 for each account, similar to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation guarantee for bank accounts.
“NCUA makes sure your deposits are safe but they also have been very hard on smaller size credit unions like ours. They are always suggesting that we merge with a larger credit union. They are not encouraging credit unions like ours, which teach self-determination and self-development of financial skills, thrift and systematic savings in the Black community,” said Zippert
Zippert also announced that the Credit Union Board had named the conference room in the back of it’s office building, as the Willie Carpenter Conference Room, in honor of the longtime Treasurer of the credit union, who passed away during the past year. “We will be placing a framed picture of Mr. Carpenter in the room with a written statement of his the dedicated work in building the FOGCE FCU over the past four decades,” said Zippert.
Darlene Robinson, Vice-President pointed out that the FOGCE FCU has payroll deduction with the major employers in Greene County, such as the School Board, Catfish plant, Hospital, WestRock box factory and many others. “This means that you can make savings and pay loans through your place of work. The funds will come out of your check and come automatically to the credit union,” she said.
Darlene Robinson was also Mistress of Ceremony for the Annual meeting and conducted elections, distributed door prizes and played some Christmas related games. Two members were re-elected to the Credit Union Board, Carol P. Zippert and Earnest Edmonds and one new member, Jackie Allen, was elected for three-year terms. James Powell and Debbie Rice were re-elected to the Credit Committee, which evaluates and approves loans.
Robinson pointed out that the “FOGCE Federal Credit Union is open to all who live, work or worship in Greene County.
Membership is $10 plus a minimum first deposit of $25. You can save regularly and systematically and your savings will grow. Then when you need a loan – you have a friendly place to borrow. The Credit Union office, on the Courthouse Square, at 112 Prairie Avenue, phone number 205/372-9025, is open weekdays, to receive new members.”

BBCF Greene County Associates collect 3,400 pairs of shoes with Funds2Orgs

The Greene County Associates of the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) completed a two-month drive seeking new and slightly used shoes for distribution to small-scale entrepreneurs in Africa, Haiti and other nations.
The Greene County Associates shown in photo, L. to R: Darlene Robinson, Mildred Gill, Carol Zippert, Dean Williams, Nancy and Eddie Cole loaded a truck last week with 136 bags of shoes, with 25 matched pairs in each bag, destined for Funds2Orgs. Others who also assisted in loading the truck included Joe Thomas, Albert Hunter, Melvin Robinson and Kent Daniels. The Greene County Associates want to thank all the people who contributed shoes to this project.
Funds2Orgs works with micro-entrepreneurs in helping them create, maintain and grow small businesses in developing countries where economic opportunity and jobs are limited. Proceeds from the sales of the shoes collected in shoe drive fundraisers are used to feed, clothe and house their families. One budding entrepreneur in Haiti even earned enough to send to her son to law school.
Funds2Orgs will also pay the Greene County Associates, $10 per bag of shoes collected, which goes into our local fundraising efforts for the foundation. The BBCF matches what the local associates raise and grants these funds back to eligible Greene County non-profits serving the community.
“The shoe drive is a win-win for everybody involved. People got to clean out their closets of slightly worn shoes. Funds2Orgs international entrepreneurs received new inventory to sell. The Greene County Associates grew our local fund will be matched and redistributed in community grants,” said Miriam Leftwich, Chairperson of the Greene County BBCF Associates.

Greene County BBCF Community Associates launch shoe drive to raise funds for community grants

BBCF Community Associates L to R: Mollie Rowe, John Zippert, Miriam Leftwich and Carol Zippert

Eutaw, Al 2019 – Greene County Community Associates (GCCA) of the Black Belt Community Foundation are conducting a shoe drive fundraiser starting May 20, 2019 thru July 20, 2019 to raise funds to support community local level grants to be distributed in Greene County next year.
GCCA will earn funds based on the total weight of the pairs of gently worn, used and new shoes collected, as Funds2Orgs will issue a check for the collected shoes. Those dollars will come back to benefit Greene County organizations through the foundation’s community grants program. Anyone can help by donating gently worn, used and new shoes to GCCA members or at the Greene County Democrat Office – 206 Prairie Avenue, Eutaw – our primary collection point..
All donated shoes will then be redistributed throughout the Funds2Orgs network of micro-enterprise (small business) partners. Funds2Orgs works with micro-entrepreneurs in helping them create, maintain and grow small businesses in developing countries where economic opportunity and jobs are limited. Proceeds from the sales of the shoes collected in shoe drive fundraisers are used to feed, clothe and house their families. One budding entrepreneur in Haiti even earned enough to send to her son to law school.
“We are excited about our shoe drive,” said Miriam L. Leftwich, GCCA County Coordinator. “We know that most people have extra shoes in their closets they would like to donate to us. By doing so, we raise money for BBCF Community Grants, and we have the chance to help families in developing nations who need economic opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
By donating gently worn, used and new shoes to the Greene County Community Associates, the shoes will be given a second chance and make a difference in people’s lives around the world.
The Greene County Community Associates ask you to encourage others to donate shoes to this worthwhile cause.
Contact any member of Greene County Community Associates: Miriam Leftwich, Rodney Pham, Mollie Rowe, Geraldine Walton, Carol Zippert, John Zippert, Johnni Strode Morning, Andrea Perry. Nancy Cole, Valerie Watkins, Darlene Robinson or Johnny Williams.
The primary collection point at the Greene County Democrat will be open on Mondays from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM; Tuesday- Thursdays from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM; and Fridays from 8:30 to Noon. Special arrangements for shoe drop-offs can be made by calling the Democrat at 205-372-3373.
You may also contact any member of the BBCF Greene County Community Associates, including Miriam L. Leftwich, County Coordinator at 205-496-2070 or by email at Leftwicm@bellsouth.net, for more information on the shoe drive.

FOGCE Federal Credit Union holds Annual Meeting; Assets exceed $1.4 million; Savings at $923,381

IMG_0508.JPGOn December 15, 2016, the Federation of Greene County Employees (FOGCE) Federal Credit Union held its 2016 Annual Meeting.
Rodney Pham, Credit Committee Chair, on behalf of the Manager reported that the credit union had $1.416,308 in assets as of November 30, 2016. Of this amount $ 923,381 are shares deposited by members and $200,000 in non-member deposits from other credit unions and non-profit organizations. The balance of the assets are in reserve funds and undivided earnings.
As of November, the credit union had $452,346.57 out in approximately 300 loans to members. The credit union makes loans against shares, personal loans, education, new and used car loans and other loans of benefit to members. Pham said, “The delinquency rate on loans was under 1%, which means our members understand that we are borrowing from each other and have a responsibility to pay back loans.”
Carol Zippert, President of the credit union reported that the credit union began in 1975 with 25 members and less than $10,000 in assets and has grown to 848 members and $1.4 million in assets. “This is a great achievement for a Black owned financial institution in one of the smallest and poorest counties in Alabama, “ she said.

The FOGCE – FCU is open to all people who live, work and worship in Greene County There is a ten dollar membership fee to join and a minimum share deposit of $25.00 then all other money you put in goes to your saving shares. FOGCE-FCU is regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which reviews the credit union annually and guarantees member’s savings to a maximum of $250,000 per account.
Members of the credit union are the owners and have one vote towards electing the Board of Directors and Credit Committee of the FOGCE Federal Credit Union. The organization is a financial and economic development organization democratically controlled by its members. At the annual meeting, Willie Carpenter, Earnest Edmond and Carol P. Zippert were re-elected to the Board of Directors and Mary Dunn, Rodney Pham and Vonda Richardson were elected to the Credit Committee.
The FOGCE-FCU has direct deposit of payroll for some Greene County employers and payroll deduction with most others. Members can save systematically and automatically through the payroll mechanism. Loan payments may also be made by payroll deduction.
Darleen Robinson, Chair of the Supervisory Committee conducts annual reviews and internal audits of the credit union to insure that all funds are used properly and are accounted for correctly. “ We welcome members suggestions and questions so we can improve the work and performance of the credit union,” she said.
John Zippert and Pamela Madzima of the staff of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives of which FOGCE-FCU is a member also attended the meeting and made supportive remarks.
Carol Zippert said that FOGCE-FCU must increase its membership and attract more young adults and millennials to our membership. “We need to set a goal for 2017, to have $1 million dollars in membership savings. This will require new members and old members depositing at least $ 75,000 in new savings into the credit union. I believe we can do this if we work together,” said Zippert.

21st Century youth attend leadership camp

img_0111

Senator Hank Sanders leads discussion on leadership traits with participants
at 21st Century’s Youth Leadership Development Winter camp.

img_0095

L to R: Harambe participants at 21C Winter Leadership Camp held at the Selma Center for Non violence, Truth and Reconcilliation. Justine Morton, Akeem Hardy, Alphonzo Morton, IV, Ivan Peebles, Alphonzo Morton, III, Destiny Dancy, Jamia Jackson, Carol Zippert, Daijah Means.

Approximately 40 students, representing five counties, participated in the annual 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement Winter Camp in Selma, AL, December 2-4, 2016. The week end activities opened on Friday evening with the usual pep rally of freedom and leadership songs composed over the years by 21C founder, Attorney Faya Rose Toure.
This was followed by a special presentation by Mrs. Annie Pearl Avery on her coming of age and continuing activities in the Civil Rights and Freedom Movement.

Mrs. Avery, a former SNCC worker, held engaging exchanges with the students who were in awe of the risks she and so many others took in the struggles across the South.
Saturday’s activities included Mindful Movements led by April Caddell, Co-Coordinator of the Winter Camp. April also led a session on Mindfulness is a Super Power. A core session on leadership traits was presented by Senator Hank Sanders, utilizing the leadership strategies in the story of Gideon from the Bible.
The students viewed a documentary, entitled 13th, on the prison industrial system produced by Ava Duvernay. The following discussion was led by Alphonzo Morton, III, Camp Co-Coordinator. The film brought out how the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution condones the slavery of persons incarcerated. Slave labor of convicted felons became a big enterprise in this country.
Pep rallies with original 21C songs were inserted throughout the day, which was capped off with a trip to the movies for entertainment. All camp participants, students and adults, enjoyed Almost Christmas at the Walton Theater in Selma.
The week end camp closed out by noon on Sunday with a Takeaway Session where the young people shared their experiences and leadership lessons learned.
21st Century Youth Leadership Movement was founded in 1986 as a non profit organization dedicated to developing young people as community directed leaders. The various county chapters are led by volunteers who are committed to the vision and goals of the organization.

School board members sworn into office; schools accreditation affirmed

sworning

L to R: Mrs. Janette Cockrell holds Bible as her daughter Kashaya Cockrell is sworn-in; John Zippert holds Bible for his wife Dr. Carol Zippert as Judge Lillie Jones Osborne administers the Oath .

boe-and-principal

Shown L to R displaying Schools Accreditation Plaque: Superintendent James Carter,Sr., School Boardmembers Carrie Dancy, Kashaya Cockrell, Leo Branch, Carol Zippert, William Morgan, Principals Sharon Jennings and Frederick Square.

 

Ms. Kashaya Cockrell, representing School Board District 2, and Dr. Carol P. Zippert, representing District 1, were sworn into office at the Board of Education meeting held, Monday, November 28, 2016. Greene County District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne conducted the ceremony. Cockrell and Zippert were elected to six year terms each following the November 8, 2016 general election. Zippert served on the school board for the past two years completing the term vacated by Lester Brown when he was elected to the Greene County Commission in 2014, representing District 1.

Superintendent James H. Carter, Sr. presented the board with a plaque affirming the accreditation of the Greene County School System by the AdvanceEd Accreditation Commission. Following an intensive examination of the school system’s total operations in April, 2016, the AdvanceEd External Review Team recommended Greene County Schools for accreditation.
In other business the school board approved the following personnel items.
Employment of Tweela Jordan as Part-time Teacher-Aide at Greene County Career Center; Ivory Robinson as Elementary Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School; Eddie Coats as Bus Driver for the system; Wennoa Peebles as Bus Driver for the system; Adding TreDemis Davis to the current Bus Driver Substitute List 2016-2017. November 14, 2016 approved as the last working day for Ms. Brenda Grant (Retirement was approved October 17, 2016).
The board approved the following administrative services recommended by Superintendent Carter.
* Acceptance of bids for a wrought iron fence, brick column, and gate for Greene County High School when funds are available.
* Permission to research cost of building an athletic field house on Greene County High School campus (Rationale: To be able to utilize the practice field).
* Agreement between Greene County Board of Education and Integra Realty Resources – Birmingham for Valuation and Consulting Services for the former Paramount Jr. High School and Carver Middle School properties.
* Contract with West Central Official Association of Livingston, Alabama for basketball officials during the 2016 -2017 school term.
* Contract with Criterion Consulting LLC for Formative Administrator Evaluation Support Services for 2016 – 2017 school year.
* Permission for Dr. James Carter, Superintendent, to attend the National Superintendent Conference in New Orleans, LA on March 2 – 4, 2017.
* Surplus old athletic uniforms for Paramount Jr. High and Carver Middle School or allow coaches to decide how to use them.
* Request to install a security fence at football stadium at Robert Brown Middle School Stadium
* Surplus and sale inventory at Paramount Jr. High and Carver Middle School.
Field trip Request for students and teachers at Greene County High to attend Education Day at Carowinds in Charlotte, NC on April 21, 2017.
Field Trip Request for Robert Brown Middle School’s 4 – 6 grade to participate in the Disney YES (Youth Educational Series) Program in Orlando, FL on May 7, 2017.
Field Trip Request for Drama Class to travel to New York City during Spring Break.
Field Trip Request for students and teachers at Robert Brown Middle School to travel to Atlanta, Ga to visit a Civil Rights Museum and have a College Tour on April 25, 2017.
Field Trip Request for students and teachers at Robert Brown Middle School to visit Ruby Falls and Rock City in Chattanooga, TN on April 21, 2017.
Out of School Violent Criminal Conduct Policy.
Black History In the School Curriculum Policy.
Resolution to remove authorized signers, Shane Martin and Emma Louie and add Leon Dowe and James Carter as authorized signers at Bank of Tuscaloosa.
Closing Carver Middle School’s account at Merchants and Farmers Bank.
Bid submitted by ADS Security in the amount of $19, 980.00 for Camera System at Robert Brown Middle School when funds are available.
Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
Bank reconciliations as submitted by Mr. Leon Dowe, CSFO.
In his report, Dr. Carter noted the following:
* Attended the World of Work Conference at Shelton State.
* Participated in the Red Ribbon Week Activities.
* Participated in the Breast Cancer Awareness Program.
* Attended and Toured Mercedes Automobile Plant.
* Performed structured interviews with Principals to enhance student achievement
* Reviewed test data with staff. This should help us better plan our instructional goal of 5% increase on the ACT Aspire.
* Ordered 40 jackets to help parents of students who were unable to pay for jackets at the time the uniform dress code for the 9th grade academy was established.
* Participated in the homecoming parade and several school coronations
* Attended and participated in the Induction Ceremony at Greene County High School Mu Alpha Theta honor society and Rho Beta history honor society
Attended West Alabama Works – a Workforce Development Council meeting hosted by Mercedes Benz.
Inquire about a partnership with city and county government to build or to organize a technology center.
“In order for the Greene County School System to continue improving, teachers must develop measurable goals for all students. It is my opinion that this system needs refining, better data and better assessments instruments. We must get empowerment right starting with teachers, parents, school community and above all, the students. Our leadership must find a vision that yield positive results.
“The leadership in our schools and classrooms must perform a self assessment and ask the tough question. Do I want a world class school and district or am I satisfied with the status quo.
Robert Brown Dedication Ceremony held November 10. Brown was honored by the recently organized middle school being officially named in his honor, Dr. Carter stated.