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McAllister students get up-close view of county operations
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A group of McAllister Elementary fourth-graders enjoy a recent field trip to the County Administrative Complex in Richmond Hill.

Fourth-graders from McAllister Elementary recently continued their annual tradition of taking an informative and interactive field trip to learn and understand how local government works.

Every year, about 200 fourth-graders make a trip to the Bryan County Administrative Complex on Capt. Matthew Freeman Drive, where they have the opportunity to meet and hear from various government department heads and supervisors.

“It’s nice to see the students express curiosity about how things work, where services come from, who is responsible for what,” County Administrator Ben Taylor said. “Who knows, we may pique the interest of the right person and we’ll have a future department director on our hands. At the very least, though, it’s good that they understand how everything comes together to make communities work.” 

Though the trip is designed to give the young attendees a sampling of how each county department works and what kinds of tasks they’re responsible for, the children always seem to have a favorite.

According to Taylor, the fourth-graders love to hear Bryan County Animal Control Director Skip Youmans tell them stories about some of the mischievousness behavior exhibited by animals in the area – escaped pets and wild creatures alike.

Taylor said he and the county staff are happy to have the classes visit, ask questions and go home a little more knowledgeable about the services they and their families enjoy thanks to the hard work of government employees and planners.

One fourth-grade teacher at McAllister, Sarah Taylor, said she enjoys seeing her students’ reactions during the annual field trip and likes that it’s fairly easy to facilitate since the school is only about a half mile from the county’s administrative complex.

“They have a good time, learn a lot and enjoy talking to county staffers about their jobs. The students understand that EMS, fire stations and sheriff’s deputies are out there, but helping them see how these important services affect our everyday lives is really a valuable lesson,” said Taylor, who also recently won a $322.24 Bright Ideas grant from Coastal Electric Cooperative for an ecosystem observance project.

For more information about Bryan County, visit


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