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City of Peachtree Corners launches ‘Color Our Heroes’ children’s community art project (Video)

Color our Heroes- Peachtree Corners City Art Project

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Color our Heroes- Peachtree Corners City Art Project

These are trying times for us all. While those with little ones to care for adjust to the new normal of working from home, keeping a regular schedule is a challenge.

Although school-age children continue their studies online, there is still idle time. Walks in the neighborhood, playing video games, and watching reruns on TV helps wile away the hours, but it leaves little opportunity to explore creativity.

To reduce screen time and get those creative juices flowing, the city of Peachtree Corners is launching an arts project called “Color Our Heroes” to recognize the men and women keeping us safe during the pandemic.

Each week, for the next four weeks, a new coloring sheet will be available on the city’s website. The first week depicts doctors and nurses, the second, garbage collectors, the third Police and EMS personnel and the fourth-week features teachers. [The latest one is here (PDF format)]

“For small kids, (Color Our Heroes) is a great way to show how these professions are critical. You know these are callings. They’re not just jobs, these are ones that it’s a calling. You’re giving back to the community and in a phenomenal way.”

– City Manager Brian Johnson

We are asking everyone to show off their artwork by posting on their front door or window. Additionally, we encourage you to post completed artwork on your social media pages using the hashtags, #colorourheroes, #peachtreecornersga or #peachtreecorners.

To show appreciation for your efforts, each week a winner will be selected from a random drawing to receive a gift card from a local business.

Please take time now to download the PDF, add your personal touches, scan and share with friends and find a prominent place to post in and around your home.

Follow these steps to participate:

  • Visit www.peachtreecornersga.gov
  • Locate the “Residents” tab
  • In the pull-down menu click on “Color Our Heroes”
  • Select a PDF or PNG file to download

 Watch for more coloring sheets in the coming weeks that you can download, color, and display. We look forward to seeing your unique artwork. Parents, be sure to send a copy of your child’s artwork and your contact information via email to info@peachtreecornersga.gov to enter the gift-card drawing.

Source: Press Release from the City of Peachtree Corners

Jim Stone of Tytan Ad Group interviews City Manager Brian Johnson about recent events in Peachtree Corners regarding the response to Shelter in Place local and national orders, as well as the ‘Color Our Heroes” community project.

Resources

Social Media:  Facebook: @peachtreecornersga Twitter: @PtreeCorners

City Website- https://www.peachtreecornersga.gov/

Color Our Heroes page- Link

Transcript

Jim: (00:00) Brian here we are it’s Week Four of the shelter-in-place order that you guys started and then the governor came in with a formal one that was statewide. You’re doing another address, you’re addressing the residents of the city and businesses three times a week and a couple times a week we’re going and talking with each other and maybe going in a little bit more detail and today you mentioned a new project,  the Color Our Heroes project, tell me a little bit about that.

Brian: (00:28)So it’s a project that we think, you know, might be able to kill two birds with one stone so to speak one, at least for the kids who are in school. From their standpoint, they’re not in school or at least they’re not in the schoolhouse and for you know some of them of certain ages that means that they’re wanting to be on screen time more and they’re wanting to you know do things that sometimes parents are like ‘oh I wish there was something more constructive to do’ right and so and you know I have younger kids myself and it’s a constant struggle. You know, a lot of schoolwork when you don’t have to move at the speed of the slowest person in a class you can get through it a lot quicker so by noon every day my kids are done with all their schoolwork and they’re already like I want to you know get on some screen of some sort and so one way you know we thought of is you know coming up with something more constructive than some of that.

And then – it is to thank some of the occupations that are out there that are doing things that either we take for granted like say sanitation workers or maybe we don’t take for granted but we still need to appreciate them because they’re working either longer hours or they’re putting themselves in harm’s way as far as the virus because they don’t know if they’re being subjected to it or not and so you um you know wethe city came up with and Tytan came up with a project that we thought we could start and that is to have a sketched image of these professions and to publish it and to let them, people in the community, color it and both post it on the front of their house you know in their front window or door whatever as a way of showing support for people driving past and I know if I was driving home and there was a bunch of pictures of city managers in the houses yeah but but you know who would not want to see the support you know being prime military I’ve been you know and at a point coming back from you know where there was a massive outpouring of support and it makes you feel good, makes you feel good about the danger that you voluntarily subjected yourself to as you know while you were providing the service for the greater good and so that’s a great way to do it.  

And then it’s not only just posting it on the front of their house just as a show of solidarity but also posting it in some of our social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and that allows you to post it in a creative way right? It allows Tytan to have the people who do that their names dropped into a random drawing right and then you’re going to as an appreciation going to randomly draw ten names per week correct with gift cards from purchased from local Peachtree Corners businesses as a reward for doing this and as a way to support the local economy.

Jim: (04:03)Yeah I think it’s a win-win andwe were really excited when you guysmentioned it. I think it was Kim Jarek, thecity clerk she came up, she was allexcited. She saw we had the other project. Can we talk about the other coloringproject or not?

Brian: (04:17)Yeah, absolutely.

Jim: (04:18) So a little while ago the city came to us and said ‘hey we want to do something different you guys are innovative and remarkable and everybody knows you for Curiosity lab and all this high-tech stuff’ and Rocio Monterrosa and Kim come to us and Judy Putnam when they go let’s do a coloring book for the community. Let’s show some of the different parts of our community-  the parks, town center, Jones bridge, you know, and all these different things.  And let’s make a coloring book and our artists were so excited and some of our artists are young and they absolutely love this because even though they may be in their 20s they still love, you know, coloring books and that’s a thing now with adults and therapy coloring but we created a coloring book that we’re about to release here I think.

We were going to release it a little bit later but I think we’re gonna release it early with everything that’s going on but Kim and some of the ladies here started going hey why don’t we do something you know for the community and that was the genesis of this and so I want to thank you for everybody at the city for being you know so innovative. Really I mean you guys are always thinking about new ways to reach out to residents and businesses and get people involved.

Brian: (05:22) Well I at least can speak to myself when I say I’m innovative enough to know that I’m not particularly innovative by myself yeah you know and so that’s why you try to surround yourself with people who are you know hopefully smarter than definitely more, you know, looking at things more creative looking at things from different vantage points and this is like you said the genesis of those kind of things I mean when you have a bunch of smart people talking about what can we do different oftentimes it you know that’s you know part of why we retain you guys to to help us with these kind of things because they don’t happen organically. They take effort.

Jim: (05:59) Well one of the things and you guys definitely employ this here but one of my mentors always said ‘the best idea wins’ and you know before I got into the crazy entertainment world and in production world you know I had an engineering company and we had a bunch of engineers and my chief engineer said ‘it doesn’t matter you know if John the guy who takes the trash out at night comes up with a better idea than our engineering team does let’s use his idea and give him credit for it right you know put your ego aside’ and I think we see that in Peachtree Corners. I mean your staff, I mean your entire group,  I mean literally you know if one of the guys outside you know washing the windows has a better idea we’ll use it and give him or her credit for it and I think that we got to be that way we’ve got to be agile in this new economy, this new paradigm we’re living now.

Brian: (06:46) We do and you know credits got togo to you know the governing body mayorand council also have supported you knowthese efforts. They give us you know theflexibility and latitude to come up withyou know ideas like this to implement them. They’re not constantly coming in and talking about well I don’tyou know why should we do it. It’s really more of why shouldn’t we right? and you know some of the times we do things that aren’t quite as successful as we want and some of them are more wildlymore successful than we thought right but at the end of the day the one thing that mayor and council have always been clear is we shouldn’t be you know not doing something right and so I would rather be trying something and you know failing than not doing anything at all. So we’ve appreciated this and you know this is another one to that I mean it doesn’t hurt. This is a great way to instill pride and in the community and in these professions and for kids to understand I mean all of these professions that we have.

In Week one we’re doing medical professionals doctors, pas nurses, public health you know officials. Week two we’re gonna do maintenance and sanitation workers. Week 3 will be Police and Fire EMS. and then week four will be our educators teachers and of course there are a lot of other ones I mean if we had more than just four we could be going on and on and on. There’s so many people there. There are the folks at the groceries. Yeah let’s not forget you know.

I mean you know they’ve got every new customer they’re ringing up is technically somebody that could have it, could be asymptomatic and a risk so butwe need groceries and they’re there too right to do it. But you know at the end of the day though especially for small kids this is a great way to also show how these professions are critical right you know these are callings. They’re not just jobs these are ones that it’s a calling. You’re giving back to the community and in a phenomenal way.

Jim: (09:02) So all right well I’m gonna let the kids knowyou mentioned it when you gave your public address but we have hashtag #colorourheroes, we have hashtag #peachtreecorners of course,  and hashtag #peachtreecornersga . So when you do your coloring when you finish your coloring, take a picture of it, scan it, whatever you can do to get it digital. If you do it in Photoshop it’s already digital but post it on your social media platform the ones we follow. We talk about Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, are the primary ones. You adults, if you want to put it on LinkedIn we’ll check it out there. I don’t you don’t seem very many you might get a lot of attention on link over here with your colored photos so that may be some white space maybe some of the adults want to go for but we’re gonna be watching all the different platforms and looking for those hashtags and then we’re gonna pull ten names basically from a hat every week and give out gift cards to local businesses which i think is a great idea.

Brian: (09:58) Now so is it fair to say then that if you’re posting on one of those platforms depending on you know the orientation of each you’re okay with them being posted in unique ways?

Jim: (10:02) Absolutely you know so Tik Tok could bein a short video format, Instagram couldbe a unique photo of it, I meanabsolutely use your creativity you know, definitely.

Brian: (10:14) We just wantto see that the photos been coloredright that they participated and thenyou know but other than that it could becreative

Jim: (10:20) Absolutely be ascreative as you want to be you know, loveit, this is a creative town when we didthe casting call for P Street Corner Kidswe were absolutely amazed at thetalent that’s around here and we’relooking forward to getting back to that. I know a lot of kids we had a coupleepisodes queued up to film here and thenthis all hit so anyways kids you’re outthere we’re gonna start soon I knowCarly’s reaching out to some of you soget ready for that.

Brian: (10:46) They really are. I mean this community is phenomenal. I have seen some parents step up me and I’vehad you know neighbor of ours was doingyou know video teleconference bookreadings right amazing you know for kidsdoing it. I mean our neighborhoodhad the Easter Bunny drive around in theback of a pickup truck and so the kidsonly had to go to the end of their youknow yard or driveway and the EasterBunny was throwing out some candy sothat they at least still got to see theEaster Bunny. I mean you know our schoollocal schools here had teacher paradesright where they drove the bus routes tothe schools in their own cars for thekids got to come out. I mean so yes thatwe have a lot of young kids we have avery vibrant you know school system here.

Jim: (11:38)Right and I look forward to seeing somereally good you know really I’m lookingfor too that that family and Brandon’sneighborhood I saw that video they putout I mean goodness sakes it was like

like a live news share was on my new show they produced it was incredible.

Brian: (11:52)There’s some pretty cool stuffgoing on some really forward to seeingboth the pictures colored but alsounique ways in which it’s posted. (11:58)

Jim: (11:59)I think that’s it and so you know check it out we do monitor Tik Tok the P Street Corner Kids have a Tic Tok so that could be really fun like you say I see some Tik Tok videos of their coloring. It’s any, Instagram can have some pretty cool pictures on absolutely absolutely you can do all kinds of fun stuff with our G TV and in different ways. You can post on Tik Tok and Facebook so it’ll be fun.

Well Brian thanks again thanks for all you’re doing for the community. Thanks for what your team is doing for the community. I know we talked about that I know you’re a military professional but really this is a time that city government really had to stand up I mean you guys really this is what you get paid for is making sure this city continues to run in times like this so I know only want to thank you and the mayor and the council for the great job they’re doing but every single team member here that’s both working from home and I see the maintenance guys here every single day when we come by here to film. They’re out there fixing the roads there. They’re fixing bravo work with pipes. There’s no working from home when a pipe breaks or there’s a big chunk hole in the road so I mean these guys are out there guys and gals are out there every single day so thank you for what all of you are doing in your team are doing it’s incredible, appreciate it.

Brian: (13:12)Thanks for helping us get that word out about those kind of things we appreciate it and we look forward to keeping you know keeping this momentum up.

Jim: (13:19)Yes sir all right we’ll see you Friday.

Brian: (13:21) All Righty

Source: Adapted from Peachtree Corners City Website and video

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Arts & Literature

Peachtree Corners Branch Library: 10 Most Popular Titles for Early Fall 2020

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Peachtree Corners Branch Library. Photo courtesy of GCPS Facebook page.

Library Branches in Gwinnett County reopened September 14 for computer use and browsing, so pick up the next great read. These are Early Fall 2020 Popular titles (Nonfiction and Fiction) listed from the Peachtree Corners Branch Library of the Gwinnett County Public Library system.

Non-Fiction Titles

1.)  Educated: a Memoir by Tara Westover

2.) It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength when Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa TerKeurst

3.) Before and after the book deal: a writer’s guide to finishing, publishing, promoting and surviving your first book by Courtney Maum

4.)  The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

5.)  Grant by Ron Chernow

6.)  Never Eat Alone: and Other Secrets to success, one relationship at a time by Keith Ferrazzi

7.)  5 Conversations to Have with Your Son by Vicki Courtney

8.)  8 Ways to Avoid Probate by Mary Randolph

9.)  ADHD & the focused Mind: a guide to giving your ADHD child focus, discipline & self-confidence by Sarah Cheyette

10.)  Becoming by Michelle Obama

 

Fiction Titles

1.)  Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens

2.)  The Giver of Stars by Jo Jo Moyes

3.)  Litter Fires Everywhere by Celest Ng

4.)  Journey of the Pharaohs: a novel from the NUMA files by Clive Cussler

5.)  The Red Lotus: a Novel by Chris Bohjalian

6.)  The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

7.)  The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

8.)  The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

9.)  Circe: A Novel by Madeline Miller

10.)  The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

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Arts & Literature

Thinking Outside the Branch: Librarians produce programs you can watch and join from home

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Don Giacomini, a youth services specialist, reads “Where the Wild Things Are” in the Gwinnett County Public Library system’s virtual “Storytime Takeout” program.

Librarian Becca Wamstad put herself through college by working as a Whole Foods baker. Today, her culinary skills are again being put to public use in a video series she calls “Baking with Becca.”

Produced in her kitchen, the show is one of hundreds of homegrown videos produced by Gwinnett County Public Library staffers since March.

After COVID-19 shut their doors, librarians could no longer offer programs at their physical locations. But that didn’t stop them from continuing to offer library programs.

They very quickly became video producers.

Hamilton Mill Branch librarian Becca Wamstad stars in her own library video series, “Baking with Becca.”

Librarians from the central office to the frontlines at branches are producing programs ranging from “Backyard Biology” and “Virtual Sewing Club” for kids to “Genealogy: Trace Your Roots” and an “Intro to Python” coding class for adults.

Anyone, anywhere can watch the library’s videos on graphic design or a series on teas around the world. There’s a virtual summer camp for kids and a series based on the Juneteenth commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S.

About 30 to 40 new programs for kids and adults are posted each week on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram and promoted on the library’s website, said Don Giacomini, a youth services specialist in the library system. Giacomini, who’s also the storyteller and puppeteer on the library’s “Storytime Takeout” variety show, praised the way library staffers have met the challenge of going virtual — from scrambling to master new technical skills to performing on camera.

“The stereotype of librarians is that we’re very introverted people, and, in a lot of cases, that is very true. I think nobody could have ever envisioned what we are doing now … but I think it is indicative of the role that libraries have played over the past 20 years in that we are stepping up to provide community services,” Giacomini said. “Our job has been to identify community needs and fill that gap.”

Atlanta Reads!

The system now has its first ever live, virtual book club, called Atlanta Reads!

Guests can get a link to download a free copy of the book (or buy one) and then get a link to join a moderator a month later to talk about the book, said Denise Auger, who oversees adult programming for the system. Details can be found at gwinnettpl.org/virtual-book-club.

The library’s very popular Author & Speaker Series — which has attracted authors such as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg — drew 6,001 guests out to hear 44 authors and speakers in 2019, Auger said. Find videos of some of these recorded programs at gwinnettpl.org/adults/gcpl-virtual-author-speaker-series.

New programs in the series are being done virtually and live, allowing guests to use chat boxes to ask the authors questions. Attendance has soared. An online session in May with authors Mary Kay Andrews, Patti Henry and Mary Alice Monroe drew 4,081 virtual guests, Auger said. Visit gwinnettpl.org/authorspeaker for the schedule.

Check out the library’s YouTube channel to find many other programs for adults on topics such as gardening, cooking, starting a small business and help workshops for coronavirus-related job and landlord issues. (See info box for link.)

“Baking with Becca”

Wamstad’s “Baking with Becca” was the first video to come out of the branches, Giacomini said.

A Hamilton Mill branch staffer, Wamstad said she’s always loved doing programs in the library. But being filmed by her boyfriend for her first baking video was an entirely different story. “I never felt so nervous!” she said.

But she didn’t cave, and she has gone on from that episode about baking rosemary parmesan bread to other baking episodes on blueberry coffeecake and lemon tarts. A biscuits-from-scratch program is planned.

Wamstad has proposed other programs awaiting approval, such as a Halloween special effects makeup tutorial using products found around the house and a session on DIY natural body care products.

“I definitely love the fact that we are such a resource for the community, and even outside the community, because our programs are available for anyone to view,” Wamstad said.

Youth Services Specialist Jana King produces the bulk of the content for “Storytime Takeout,” which recently posted its 34th episode. One of the harder things she said she’s had to learn is how to engage a virtual audience.

“You don’t really think about what you look like when you’re (physically) reading a book to a group of children because you’re interacting with them and pointing out things,” King said.

But she’s forging ahead, and, among other things, she’s collaborating with her coworker
Sarah Martin to do a weeklong puppet camp for kids from July 27-31 that will be available online through the end of August. Find it by visiting classroom.google.com, hitting the + button, and entering the classroom code jp3dagl.

King encourages people to tell the library what they’d like to see in the way of programs. “We are brainstorming all the time about new content and new ways to get early literary skills out there to our kids and help them in this time,” she said.

Gwinnett County Public Library youth services specialists Sarah Martin, left, and Jana King conducted a weeklong virtual puppet camp for kids that will be available online through the end of August.

Peachtree Corners Branch

Gwinnett library branches reopened briefly this summer but closed again effective July 23. All branches will offer only curbside holds pickup, except for the Duluth Branch which is closed until further notice.

“There is now substantial data to show Gwinnett’s COVID-19 fighting infrastructure is becoming strained,” the library said in a public announcement on its web page. “We also see rising numbers of customers visit the library without masks, exacerbating the potential for germ spread.”

Peachtree Corners Branch Manager Karen Harris said patrons who came in after they reopened told staff how much they’d missed them.

“My staff is so creative and so ingenious. We’re doing well,” she said at that time.

Ongoing branch programs are now online, including “Common Threads,” a large group of seniors who knit, crochet, embroider and quilt, and two writing programs — one for teens and one for adults.

Harris said other proposed virtual programs await approval. Among them are a senior singing program for all ages called “Virtual Senior Moments,” “Reading Rock Stars” for middle schoolers and “Fiber Arts Fridays” for all ages.

Other proposed virtual programs include a book club for adults, family game nights, a “Voting 101” program, and a session on “Fake News.” Find scheduled programming on the library’s website, gwinnettpl.org.

Catch a library video!


Facebook
YouTube: Click ‘Videos’ to see a list of programs.
Library event calendar
Beanstack (online reading program)
Learning Labs

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Arts & Literature

City Names its New Multi-Use Trail and Unveils First of Six Trail Art Sculptures

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Left to Right, Randy Gilbert, Councilmembers Eric Christ and Lorri Christopher, Mayor Mike Mason and councilmembers Jeanne Aulbach and Phil Sadd

On Tuesday afternoon during a special presentation and ribbon-cutting event, the Mayor and Council celebrated the opening of a new section of its 11.5-mile multi-use trail system. They also announced the name selected for the trail — and unveiled the first of six sculptures to be placed throughout the city.

In the city’s name-the-trail contest “Corners Connector” was chosen for the name of the city-wide trail which will wind throughout the community connecting neighborhoods to parks, shops, restaurants and offices. Mr. Randy Gilbert, a long-time resident, selected the winning name chosen from over 150 entries.

Mr. Gilbert was on hand to help cut the ribbon on the new 1/3-mile section of the trail which runs around a portion of the 7-acre Technology Park Lake. This newest section has a plaque dedicated to Mr. Lee Tucker in recognition of his efforts in ensuring the city had the land needed for the trail expansion. Future plans will include the trail to encircle the entire lake.

“The trail is a great asset to Peachtree Corners and well worth the effort to build it,” said Mr. Gilbert. “I can see many people enjoying it in the years to come.”

In several in-person and online surveys, citizens ranked multi-use trails among the most desirable and valued community recreational assets. The city envisions that the Corners Connector will not only serve as an alternate means of travel but will also be a linear park offering unique amenities and programs for its residents.

“This is an exciting moment for our city,” said Mayor Mason during the event. “We hope our citizens, and those who work here in Tech Park, enjoy this new amenity. We look forward to celebrating each section of our “Corners Connector” trail as it is completed. We are also conducting feasibility study now to add a 3 ½- mile walking trail along Crooked Creek. We hope to have more news on that proposed section soon.”

The new button-shaped sculpture, which is located at the entrance to the lake-side trail section, is part of a Gwinnett-wide effort by a nonprofit organization, Button Art, to showcase the county. The city plans to install a total of six of the round-shaped Button Art sculptures, each depicting a theme based on the area of town in which it is located. Button Art, Inc. is a nonprofit created to further the love of art in Gwinnett County. The project was inspired by Button Gwinnett, the county’s namesake.

The city’s first sculpture features a friendly-looking robot walking a robotic dog, a nod to the many high-tech businesses located within Technology Park. Local artist, Lance Campbell has designed the artwork for the city’s six sculptures which are among 200 that will be sprinkled throughout the county.  

Visit www.buttonart.org for more information on the Button Art project.

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