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#SWTDD Quick News

SWTDD programs win two awards at NADO Conference


Southwest Tennessee Development District received two 2017 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for its REDI AnyCollege Simulations and MyRide West Tennessee programs.


REDI AnyCollege Simulations are hosted each year at all high schools in the REDI region, which includes the counties of Chester, Crockett, Fayette, Gibson, Hardin, Haywood, and Tipton. The AnyCollege Simulation is an all-day event where the first week of college is simulated. Students are given a faux name, GPA, ACT score, college/technical school, and scholarships (or lack of scholarship awards). Depending on their faux "life", students must go to the Bursar's office to pay tuition and fees, go to housing office to secure a dorm room and meal ticket, go to the bookstore for books, go to class, go to the cafeteria, go to extra-curricular activities and possibly even report to a job daily to help pay the way through college. Some will get tickets for speeding, illegally parking and other things. Through it all, students see that part of the college experience can be frustrating - waiting in lines (only to find that they possibly in the wrong line) - and that getting everything done successfully can be hectic. They learn that these things are a normal part of college and to persevere when things don't happen easily.


MyRide West Tennessee is a senior-friendly, door-through-door transportation program that links those 60 years and older who have difficulty or are unable to drive with volunteers who drive them on essential trips like to doctor appointments, the grocery store and on other important errands. Seniors pay a $25 annual fee to join and are charged $2 per round-trip (both of which help cover costs for volunteer background checks, extra insurance for volunteer drivers, and mileage reimbursement for volunteers). Available only in Madison County at this time, the MyRide West Tennessee program will be expanded into other SWTDD counties in the months and years to come.


NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizationsthat promotes programs and policies to strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies. The association's Innovation Awards recognize regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation's regions and local communities. 2017 marked NADO's 50-year anniversary of supporting regional economic development across the country.  


Award-winning projects were honored during NADO's 2017 Annual Training Conference, held Sept. 9-12 in Anchorage, AK. The 2017 class of award recipients consists of 80 projects spanning 21 states. These projects are presented in an interactive "Story Map" developed by NADO and Esri and include project summaries, funding information, and partners. The Story Map is available online at: https://www.nado.org/innovation-awards


WE NEED YOU: To volunteer for MyRide West Tennessee


For many individuals getting to a medical or dental appointment, the grocery store, or bank is as simple as jumping in the car or on the local bus. But for some, it is difficult due to declining health or the rigors of aging.


MyRide West TN is a senior-friendly, door-through-door volunteer transportation service for Madison County residents age 60+ who need rides for essential trips (medical, groceries, etc.). The key feature of MyRide West TN and the reason for its sustainability is the use of volunteers.  


Make the day of a senior in Madison County by calling to volunteer - and invite a friend to help you in volunteering for as little as one ride per month! Call Keita Cole at 731-668-6420 

MyRide West Tennessee LITERALLY has seniors waiting for volunteers to sign up - will that person be you? To learn more, www.myridewesttn.org


October 24: Public Guardian Program Volunteer Information Session


Sometimes people turn to a family member, friend, bank, or company when they need help. But what happens when there's no one to ask? What happens when none of these are there to help? Perhaps you can be part of the solution!


Public guardians, also known as conservators, help people over 60 who can no longer help themselves. The person needing help may be unable to make decisions about money or medical care. They often need help with basic needs.


Conservators do their best to help older people meet their needs, yet remain as independent and comfortable as possible. Conservators are protectors for seniors who find themselves alone. 


Additional help is needed to take care of the needs of the seniors in southwest Tennessee. Come to SWTDD on October 24th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to learn more at the PG/Conservator Program Volunteer Information Session. Lunch will be provided. In our district, Dayle Mathis is the public guardian/conservator and Nicole Guin is the assistant district conservator. 


For more information, please contact Nicole Guin, 731-668-6407 or nguin@swtdd.org.

TDOT's West Tennessee Lane Closure Report

If you're hitting the road, it may be helpful to know where TDOT crews will be working in all the West Tennessee counties during the coming week(s).  
If you'd like to be in the know, click here

Nov. 25-Dec. 31:Christmas under the stars to benefit those with disabilities

The STAR Center will start a new tradition for this year. The regional organization that serves individuals with disabilities of all ages will create at drive-thru Christmas light display from Nov. 25 through the end of December at the Jackson Fairgrounds. There will be 20-30 light displays, including a "massive" Nativity scene and Rudolph's test flight.


All proceeds will benefit the work of the STAR Center and its mission to help any person with any disability reach their full potential. For more information, call 731-668-8333.

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