Children in the Andalusia Public Library’s Summer Reading Program were hard at work Thursday making their own instruments while Kevin “Woody” Woodson taught them that instruments can help shape their minds.
“I am a music teacher, so I believe in teaching them something different than being sucked into an iPad or video games,” Woodson said. “It’s like kids now-a-days don’t have any social skills because of these electronics.”
Woodson said that he would like to see what would happen if all power was lost for a day.
“When I was little we only had the radio and the Grand Ole Opry,” Woodson said. “We would look to different instruments to fill our attention span. We would learn hand eye coordination and harmony.”
Woodson brought out several of the 10 instruments, that he taught himself to play, to entertain the children.
“I have been playing instruments for 45 years,” Woodson said. “I am inspired by Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs, really all the bluegrass legends.”
Woodson played folk classics like “Banjo On My Knee” and “I’ve Been Working On the Railroad” on the banjo, “Sweet Home Alabama” on the mandolin and “Amazing Grace” on the piano.
T.J. Sullivan said that his favorite instruments that Woodson brought were the ukulele and guitar.
“I like them because most people can play songs on them,” Sullivan said. “And cause most every song can be played on them. My favorite songs are by Alvin and the Chipmunks and they can be played on the guitar.”
The APL’s Emily Brooks said that the kids are really enjoying this summer’s musical theme.
“The only scary thing about this Thursday was all the little pieces and all the little children,” Brooks said. “But they all had a great time.”
Today, the library will have Summer Movie Day, featuring “Peter Rabbit” at 2:30 p.m.
Next Thursday, Born To Be Wild will be at the library at 3 p.m., and will be bringing wild and crazy animals.
“Everyone needs to come to next weeks program,” Brooks said. “It will be the most interesting one of the summer.”
The Andalusia City Council agreed Tuesday to pursue grant funding to improve a number of streets.
Bob Carter of Goodwyn Mills and Caywood told council members that it is possible to pursue Community Development Block Grant grant funding of $450,000 or $250,000. The city’s share of the ensuing projects would be $191,000 or $105,000 respectively.
Council members agreed that they should pursue the larger amount of funding. The city’s matching funds can be pulled from gasoline tax proceeds, Mayor Earl Johnson said.
Among the streets being considered for improvements if the city is successful in securing the grant funds are portions of Third Street, Eight Street, Ninth Street, Second Street, Oak Street, and Woodruff Street, all near Magnolia Cemetery; also Rankin Street, Riley Street, Jackson Street, Auburn Avenue, Carlton Street and Little Street.
Applications are due in July, and it will be several months before the grant awards are announced, Carter said.
In other business, the council:
Reduced debt by $1.86M in 2017, completed S3N from reserves
The City of Andalusia’s 2017 audit showed the city is on “fine, solid, financial footing,” its auditor said.
Ken Odom of Rabren, Odom, Pierce and Hayes, PC presented the audit, which was adopted, Tuesday night.
“This doesn’t happen overnight,” Odom said. “A lot of this started several years ago.”
During that fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, 2017, Odom said the city:
Reduced its debt by $1.86 million from the prior fiscal year.
Generated $18.9 million, spent $16.15 million, with an excess of revenues over expenses of $1.77 million.
The city’s government funds balance at year end was $98.9 million $857,257 from the prior year. The difference represents the expense of the city’s match portion for the South Three Notch Street project. Mayor Earl Johnson pointed out that this project was completed without financing.
“Unlike most capital projects of this magnitude, due to strategic planning, none of the South Three Notch Street project was completed with additional long term debt,” he said.
In his letter to be included with the audit, the mayor stated, “In 2013, the city council and I developed a plan to build a capital reserve and increase our commitment to education largely financed through a sales tax increase. Since that time, we have dramatically increased our capital reserves and transferred in excess of $5.5 million in new revenue to Andalusia City Schools for new academic programs and capital projects.”
Tuesday, they were students participating in the Andalusia Public Library’s summer program for teens. By the end of next week’s session, they’ll be the stars of their own YouTube video.
“The kids had a blast,” Christine Lynn, who coached them through the process, said. Lynn works with the A.P.P.L.E. program and formerly worked with WKNI. “They were super ecstatic.”
“We took the Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” video, and they parodied it. The kids had their ideas about what they wanted to do.”
Lynn said because most people use electronics all the time, they aren’t accessing the right side of the brain for arts and creativity as much.
“We let the kids come up with what they wanted to do,” she said. “What I taught them they can do at home.”
The class will continue at next week’s session, when the students will learn to cut, clip and add effects to completely make their video.
“I have a YouTube channel where I’ll upload it, and the library will upload it as well,” she said.
The next teen workshop will be at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19.