Category: Educational

Savannah Rotary Clubs Call for Community Volunteers for Inaugural Read-In to 15,000 Students in Savannah-Chatham Schools

Savannah Rotary Clubs Call for Community Volunteers for Inaugural Read-In to 15,000 Students in Savannah-Chatham Schools

(SAVANNAH, GA) Several Rotary clubs and community volunteers in the greater Savannah area will host the inaugural Rotary Read-In on Thursday, March 22, from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Rotarians and community volunteers will participate with students from kindergarten to third grade in 31 schools and almost 600 classrooms in the Savannah-Chatham County area.

“We hope to promote literacy with almost 15,000 local students at this event,” said Nina Gompels, president of the Rotary Club of Savannah. “We are asking the community to join with our Rotarians during the Read-In, and we hope to have about 400 people participate, giving back by reading for one hour on this one special day to spark imaginations and encourage desires to read more.”

Debra Larson, President & CEO of Hospice Savannah and retired trucking company owner Frank Moore, Jr., who serves as a substitute teacher in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, are co-chairing the event.

When he moved to Savannah, Moore brought the idea to the Rotary Club of Savannah from his club in California, which ran the program for 26 years. The Rotary Club of Savannah then reached out to all of the clubs in the Greater Savannah area.

“We are looking for volunteers to help just one day for one hour with just one book,” said Moore. “This is a community building event that brings members of our community into the schools, with a very positive impact on both students and the reader.”

The club is also seeking 32 volunteers to serve as school liaisons to handle all communication with the schools’ personnel, confirm classrooms and solidify books for the read-in. E Shaver Booksellers is offering a 25 percent discount for those purchasing a children’s book to read for the Savannah Rotary Read-In with the intention of leaving that book in the classroom for the students.

According to a study published by the Reach Out and Read National Center in Boston, parents or other family members read every day to just under half of the nation’s children between birth and five years. Children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over those who are not, with the number of words in a child’s vocabulary being an important indicator of later academic success, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The federal government has set a national goal through its Healthy People 2020 initiative to increase the proportion of children who are read to by a parent every day from 47.8 percent in 2007 to 52.6 percent in 2020, according to Child Trends.

A report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation indicates children who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school.

To register to read on March 22, sign up here by Thursday, March 15:

The Rotary Club of Savannah includes 225 community leaders and volunteers. Over the past 103 years, the club has championed local and regional developments that include completing the road to Tybee Island, improving the Savannah River for commercial traffic, enhancing the Dixie Highway system in southeast Georgia and building bridges over the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers. Most recently in recognition of the 100th anniversary, the club raised funds and constructed an all-accessible playground in Forsyth Park. Meetings are held each Monday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the DeSoto Hotel, 15 E. Liberty Street. For more information, visit

Debra Larson
(912) 629-1020

Major League Baseball’s Josh Reddick Visits Bethesda Academy

Major League Baseball’s Josh Reddick Visits Bethesda Academy

(SAVANNAH, GA) Major League Baseball’s Josh Reddick, Houston Astros’ Right-Fielder, presented “Pitching Success” to Bethesda Academy Students on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Reddick was born in Savannah and attended South Effingham High School in Guyton. He previously played for the Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers. Reddick won a Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2012 while playing for the Oakland Athletics.

He spoke to students during Bethesda’s Chapel time. Reddick spoke about hard work and dedication being his key to success, in spite of people telling him he could not make it as a pro-baseball athlete. For more information on Bethesda Academy, visit or call 912.644.4376.

Josh Reddick Visits Bethesda Academy

Josh Reddick Signs Autographs at Bethesda Academy

Josh Reddick Visits Bethesda Academy

Josh Reddick with Bethesda Staff

Josh Reddick Visits Bethesda Academy

Josh Reddick Speaks to Bethesda Students

Josh Reddick Visits Bethesda Academy

Josh Reddick Speaks to Bethesda Students

Josh Reddick Visits Bethesda Academy

Josh Reddick Presents “Pitching Success”

Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private boarding and day school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and STEM curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit or call 912.644.4376.

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Sandfly Women Business Owners Coalition Supports National Reading Day at Hancock Day School

Sandfly Women Business Owners Coalition Supports National Reading Day at Hancock Day School

(SAVANNAH, GA) Dr. Angela Canfield and The Sandfly Women Business Owner’s Coalition will promote literacy efforts on National Reading Day, Tuesday, Jan. 23, by spending time at Hancock Day School reading to first- and second-grade students at 1 p.m.

“Our hope is to gather other entrepreneurs in the area to join us for this worthwhile cause,” said Dr. Angela Canfield, a coalition member. “We are excited to share our love for reading with these young students, and what better gift can we give to our children than the encouragement of literacy?”

National Reading Day is an annual event held across the country to celebrate and encourage reading by younger children. A key part of this effort is to find business partners for local schools and encourage guest readers to visit classrooms.

Please contact Cynthia Wright at or 912-856-9075 to participate in the upcoming National Reading Day at Hancock Day School. For more information on National Reading Day, visit

Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentists. She practices at and owns two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs located in Rincon, GA, 5871 HWY 21 South, and Sandfly Family Dental in the Norwood Market in Savannah, GA. Both offices provide Family/Preventative Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontic Dentistry, Digital X-Rays, E4D One Day Crowns, Electronic Claims, Intra Oral Camera and Paperless Charting. The offices are open Monday through Friday and offer evening appointments. For more information, call 912.826.4037 or visit or

For more information, contact: 
Angela C. Canfield DDS
912-713-1398 Cell
912-826-4037 office

Media inquiries, contact: 
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations, Inc.

The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center To Host “Building Local ‘Buzz’ For Your Business” in Savannah

The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center To Host “Building Local ‘Buzz’ For Your Business” in Savannah

(SAVANNAH, GA) The University of Georgia will host “Building Local ‘Buzz’ for your Business” at the University of Georgia – Small Business Development Center in Savannah on Jan. 30. Marjorie Young, an experienced public relations consultant and president and CEO of Carriage Trade Public Relations, will present “Five Secrets to Creating Positive Word-of-Mouth in Your Community.”

Attendees will learn to create a repeatable tagline, to develop your referral board, to position yourself as an authority, to pursue awards and to deliver hard news about your business.

Participants will also develop a media release for their business.

“Businesses have so many great stories and do so much good, but no one ever knows about it,” said Young. “You have the content. Now all you need to do is share it.”

Young founded Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc. in 1995. Her firm creates positive word-of-mouth for businesses in the community and online by using reputation management strategies. She is also the founder of the REPUTATION MATRIX™ method, which helps businesses create year-long public relations plan.

In 2017 the Savannah Chamber named Young as the Helen V. Head, Small Business Advocate of the Year. She currently sits on the Savannah Rotary and Hospice Savannah board of directors. Past boards include Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Savannah, Buy Local Savannah and Small Business Chamber.

The program will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Jan. 30 in Suite M at the University of Georgia – Small Business Development Center, 513 E. Oglethorpe Ave.

The program costs $79. Interested parties can register at

For more information on the event, please visit

Marjorie Young, CEO of Carriage Trade Public Relations, Inc.

Marjorie Young, CEO of Carriage Trade Public Relations, Inc.

Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc. is Savannah’s premiere reputation management company. Founded in 1995 by Marjorie Young to help businesses increase their positive word of mouth in the community and globally online through its trademarked strategy, the REPUTATION MATRIX™ method.

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®

The Matthew Reardon Center’s 2018 Autism Conference Announced for March 2

The Matthew Reardon Center’s 2018 Autism Conference Announced for March 2

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism’s third annual autism conference will be held on Friday, March 2, 2018, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Coastal Georgia Center, located at 305 Fahm St. The conference provides learning opportunities for parents and caregivers, educators and individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

The event will include a keynote address and five breakout sessions. Lunch will be provided at 12:30 pm with the keynote address being delivered at that time.

Keynote speaker, Lydia X.Z. Brown, will address the importance of neurodiversity, the concept that neurological differences, like autism and ADHD, are the result of normal, natural variations in the human genome.

Brown is an advocate, organizer and author focused on violence against disabled people in schools, institutions, prisons and law enforcement personnel. A visiting lecturer at Tufts University, Brown designed and teaches a course on disability and inter-sectional social movements. Brown is also a founding board member of the Alliance for Citizen-Directed Supports, which advocates for people with disabilities to have full community integration and control over their services.

“I can’t imagine having a better keynote speaker for the 2018 conference,” said Faye Montgomery, Advocacy Director of the Matthew Reardon Center for Autism. “Lydia is knowledgeable in such a diverse range of topics within the autistic community and will have truly invaluable information to share with our attendees.”

Breakout session speakers and their topics are listed below:


Jennifer Phillips, Director of Professional Learning at Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative: “Ways to Structure Classroom Environments for Every Student’s Success”

Christy Calbos and Debbie Dobbs, lawyer/advocates: “Top 5 Reasons Parents Hire Educational Advocates and Attorneys and How Savvy Educators can Avoid Complaints”

Lydia X.Z. Brown, advocate, author and visiting lecturer at Tufts University: “Ableism and the Meaningful Inclusion of People with Autism in Educational Settings”


Suzette Rosario, BCBA and Director of the May Institute: “Supporting Individuals with Autism when Behavior Creates Challenges”

Rachel Seaman, post-doctoral fellow at the Emory Univ. Autism Center: “Formulating Plans to Support People with Autism in the Transition from High School to Post-Secondary Life”


Daniel Wendler, author and doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at George Fox University: “Ways to Find a ‘Place of Belonging’ – Exploring Social Skills Development, Friendship and Development of a Personal Community”

Wendler himself was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in high school and has authored two books, Improve Your Social Skills and its sequel, Level Up your Social Skills.

Early admission tickets to the 2018 Autism Conference are $100; after Jan. 21, tickets will be $125. Continuing education units are an additional $20.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or contact Faye Montgomery at 912-355-9098 or

Matthew Reardon Center for Autism Third Annual Autism Conference

Matthew Reardon Center for Autism’s Third Annual Autism Conference

MRCA operates southeast Georgia’s only accredited year-round day school for children with autism. They have provided advocacy and outreach services to more than 800 families across southeast Georgia and have hosted professional training and instructional opportunities for more than 4,000 family members, educators, health professionals and self-advocates. The organization was incorporated in 2000 and currently serves 22 students through ADVANCE Academy. They have 11 full-time employees and operate in a 6,000-square-foot suite at 6602 Abercorn St #200, Savannah, GA 31405. Website:

Patti T. Victor, President and CEO
The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism, Inc, and Advance Academy
912-355-9098 (office)
912-352-2460 (fax)

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations

Five Ways to Make Holidays Happier for Children with Different Abilities

Five Ways to Make Holidays Happier for Children with Different Abilities

By Dr. Ben Spitalnick, Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society, Board of Directors

Every parent wants the holiday season to be a special, joyous time for their child, and parents of children with different abilities or special needs usually have to take a couple of extra steps to ensure the holidays are just that.

To help along the way, the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society offers five tips to help make the holiday season run smoothly and keep your kids happy.

1. Prepare Your Child
Your child wants to know the plans for the holiday season as much as you do. To reduce stress and prepare your child for upcoming activities, explain what you’ll be doing, who will be there and what the schedule is for the day. Write down the schedule for them and include pictures.

2. Prepare Your Family
Remind your family of the needs of your child. If there are other little ones, ask their parents to talk to them about your child’s differences. This can help reduce confusion and will foster a sense of understanding. It might help, a few days before everyone gets together, to send family members an informational email with 10 things to know about your child.

3. Bring Familiar Toys
The holidays are a chaotic time. Familiarity will help your child remain calm and feel comfortable. Bring his or her favorite toy, book or something that soothes your child at home. When things get a little too crazy, that may help your child feel comfortable.

4. Ask For Help
Don’t feel guilty for asking for help. Every parent needs help, and you do too. Explain the needs of your child to another family member or two and ask them to step in when you need a break. Explain to your child, too, that this person will be playing with them or watching them for a few minutes while you are busy.

5. Let Your Child Help
Preparing for the holidays can be stressful, but if you let your child help, you can create family traditions and keep everyone a little happier. Give your child a task such as greeting everyone at the door or stirring the sauce. This will keep your child focused, reduce his or her stress levels and give you an extra hand.

To create a happier time of celebration, we encourage all parents of children with different abilities to prepare their little ones a bit extra this holiday season. These small proactive measures can do a lot to help your child adjust to large crowds, new situations and days off-schedule. We hope this will make your holiday season a little jollier.

Dr. Ben Spitalnick is managing partner of Pediatric Associates of Savannah and currently serves as Representative for the Savannah area to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Spitalnick is from North Atlanta and is a graduate of the University of Georgia, received his medical degree from MCG, and did his Pediatric Residency at Memorial Health University here in Savannah. He serves on the board of directors for the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society.


Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society