Alabama retiree sews together backpacks, pencil bags for Callaway Hills students

Kindergarten teacher Jan Owens has a vacation story that's turned into school bags for hundreds of Callaway Hills Elementary School students over the past two years — supplies sewn by someone more than 700 miles away. Owens is a vacation neighbor on Dauphin Island, Alabama, with Carolyn “Nan” Tate and her family. Tate, of Semmes, Alabama, is an 87-year-old widow who lives alone, Owens said. Owens was talking one day with one of Tate's three daughters, Sandra Bryant, about Callaway Hills' positive behavior incentive program and “Cougar General” — a “store” at school where once a month, students can spend the points they've earned each day through positive behaviors. Callaway Hills is also one of the schools in the Jefferson City school district where all students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch because of the school's participation in the federal Community Eligibility Provision program. Schools are eligible for CEP when at least 40 percent of their students are in food-assistance programs. Read more here >>>

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