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QUINCY --Nationally known performers with local roots are scheduled to be featured at the first
Character Counts in Gadsden County  celebration, Saturday, October 27, 6 - 9 pm, at the 
Carter-Parramore Academy, 631  S. Stewart St., Quincy.  Winners of the student Music With a 
Message  contest will be announced and have the opportunity to perform their  entries.  
The Character Counts Celebration is free to students, families and  members of the community.
Known for his special brand of urban gospel music, Vance Watt who goes  by "Praiz" has 
appeared on MTV's Gospel Extravaganza and the Grand Old  Opry, as well as in concerts to 
benefit Katrina survivors.  Husband and  father of three, Watt is committed to the improvement 
of the Gadsden  community.  He is one of the judges of the music contest. 
The other featured act is the Black on Black Rhyme, a Tallahassee  poetry troupe.  Started as 
an opportunity for amateur poets to have their  works heard, the group has become an example 
of entrepreneurship by  founder Keith Rogers.  Under his direction, Black on Black Rhyme has  
expanded into Tampa under the name "The Conscious Party."  From its beginning  in Rogers' 
apartment, the performance group still gives novice writers  a place of exposure and critique.  
An important aspect of the first Character Counts celebration is  focused on alternatives to youth 
violence, an increasing problem in all  communities.  Watt and Rogers embrace the ideals of 
expression in  non-violent and creative ways. The Character Education Initiative is a  national 
program promoting good character in students to help them become  positive and contributing 
members of their communities.
Program Director Dr. Beverly Nash says, "Our Character Counts  celebration is a very visible 
for the entire community to show students we  want and expect them to reach their potential in 
school and in life."
  For more information about the Character Counts Celebration, call: (850) 627-5015. 

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35 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd | Quincy, Florida 32351 | Office: (850) 627- 9651 | Fax: (850) 627-2760