Martin Fancher, Gulf States Conference executive secretary, was among several invited dignitaries who attended the Readers Make Leaders Awards Ceremony on May 25, 2022, at Slingluff Elementary School. Readers Make Leaders is an enrichment program that gives incentives for student to increase their interest in reading, and improve reading comprehension and written and oral communication skills. Students were required to read up to 15 books, write a book report, and were interviewed by local community volunteers. Rosalind James, Bright Key resource coordinator for Slingluff Elementary School and project manager for the Readers Makes Leaders Program, recruited community volunteers and tutors to conduct the student’s interviews. Volunteers ranged from retired teachers, librarians, local business leaders, foster grandparents, and ministers from various denominations.
During the awards program students heard inspirational messages on the benefits of reading shared by Fancher; Mark Saliba, Dothan City mayor; Dexter Grimsley, state representative; Michelle Dandridge, CEO of Dandridge Family Dentistry Practice in Dothan; and Lauren Bradford Miss Alabama, magna cum laude from Auburn University, and first runner in the Miss America Pageant in 2021.
The program ended with each student’s name acknowledged and presented with certificates of achievements, Readers Make Leaders medallions/ribbons, and cash awards followed by a firm hand shake given by all dignitaries.
In addition, Rosalind James also recognized more than 30 adult volunteer tutors and 60 students who participated in the Bright Key Academic Dream Room tutoring program. A reception was held in honor of the dignitaries and volunteers.
As the Bright Key resource coordinator, James looks forward to next school term to plan and implement a Parent University, designed to include three educational models: “Setting Goals for Family Success,” “Academics: Helping Your Child Succeed in School,” and “Guides to Positive Parenting.”
James is extremely excited to plan the first Bright Key Parent’s Health and Wellness Fair for the Dothan City Schools, to be held on October 28, 2022. Health Educators from Uchee Pines will conduct their Health Expo. Local hospitals and health service agencies will be participating. Tony DeMorais, CEO of Rebuild, Restore, Recover LLC, will present an exhibition on the use of herbs and natural home remedies.
The Readers Make Leaders program was sponsored by Rosalind James, who serves on the Gulf States Conference Executive Board, and Michelle Dandridge, member of Dothan, Ala., Church.
Gulf States | August 2022
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