Black Positive People : Elementary school gets its own FBI

Discussion in 'Black People Doing Positive Things' started by FaithSoulSistah, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. FaithSoulSistah

    FaithSoulSistah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/story/190531.html

    Fathers Being Involved helps keep Rigdon students on right path

    BY LARRY GIERER - [email protected] --

    Cause some trouble around Rigdon Road Elementary School, you'll have to deal with the FBI.

    Not the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but Fathers Being Involved.

    "We're the first line of defense," says Garry Fuller, a retired soldier.

    Consisting of about 30 members, these are the award-winning institution's men in black, looking much like a SWAT team with black T-shirts, black caps, black boots.

    They're intimidating but don't mean to be. At least, not to the students.

    All are men with children or grandchildren at the school.

    The volunteer program began in 1998, the brainchild of counselor Beatrice Allen, now in her 34th year at Rigdon Road.

    "The idea came from God," she said. "It was during the Martin Luther King break. We were not in school. Lots of our kids live with grandparents, aunts. Some are with foster families. Many don't have a positive black male role model in their life. I had met so many angry young men growing up without dads, so many angry mothers who didn't know how to deal with the sons. I prayed for a way to give them a sense of hope."

    The way was the FBI.

    She wrote a mission statement. Principal Phyllis Jones quickly gave it her stamp of approval.

    "She was very receptive and has given the program nothing but encouragement since," said Allen.

    How did Allen start getting fathers?

    She stood at the door of her office and when one walked by, she waved and said, "Come in here."

    An information packet was then thrust into the father's hands.

    Allen said it wasn't as difficult as she thought it might be to get volunteers.

    "Who doesn't want the best for their kid?" said Kenneth Hugle, retired from TSYS.

    The school is predominantly African-American, as are FBI members.

    "We want the children to see successful black men," said Hugle. "We stress getting a good education. Boys have to learn that they can't all be Michael Jordan, but they can be a scientist."

    The men's duties are many.

    Chores begin early as children start getting dropped off at 7:45 a.m., when members are stationed at every door as others patrol the halls to make sure only the appropriate people enter.

    Others help with traffic. "We help get the kids out of the cars for the parents so the traffic can move faster," said Fuller.

    The men guide students to classes. After the children have their morning breakfast in class, the men help the custodians collect bags of trash and get them to the Dumpster.

    In groups, the men visit each class to to ask the students how they're doing and give them a word of encouragement, reminding them of their goals and to be respectful.

    Help patrol school

    At least four of the men will be patrolling throughout the day. "If a student is causing a disturbance, the teacher can put that child in the hall," said the group's leader, Lionel Ashe, a private investigator. The student may be escorted to the principal's office or, in many cases "get a good talking to," Ashe said

    "Often," said Hugle, "a few minutes later, that student will walk back in the class and take a seat, the teacher not having to pause the lesson for a second."

    That earns a thumbs-up from the instructor.

    If a substitute teacher is working, the men are eager to help. "You know how tough some kids can be on a substitute," Fuller said, laughing. "Not here."

    And if any teacher needs to leave the room, one of the men is ready to step in and keep control.

    At the end of the day, the men help again with traffic and cleaning.

    "I visited another school recently," said Hugle. "It was like a jungle. Here, the halls are quiet."

    Ashe is quick to add that there is more to the FBI program than "men walking the halls."

    "We take the students on educational field trips. We have a mentor program to help kids who are struggling," he said.

    There is other help.

    "A Rigdon Road family got burned out. The FBI was there to help, raising funds, getting furniture," said Allen. "They lend moral support to some of the single mothers who are having difficulty getting by."

    The FBI isn't saying that the students don't get the leadership they need at home.

    "We're not telling someone that they are a bad father. We're just continuing what is being taught at home. We're making sure everything remains positive," said Frederick Edmond, a manager with ******* Barrel.

    Ray "Cowboy" Hall used to work for Russell Corporation. He has a grandson at the school. "I got involved when my son got stationed in Korea," he said. "I feel strongly about helping these children."

    As does Ozell Mims, a retired soldier with grandchildren. "I tell the students they must account for their actions."

    Ashe is a retired police officer and now a private investigator. He has two children ages 5 and 10 at the school and another son, 30-year-old Darius Ashe, who serves with the FBI.

    "I'm here to show support," said Darius Ashe. "You have to reach these students early. A lot of schools could use something like the FBI."
    Contact Larry Gierer at 706-571-8581
     
  2. Son of RA

    Son of RA STAFF STAFF

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  3. Zulile

    Zulile Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    EXCELLENT!!! This is an amazing thing- to successfully coordinate the support of teachers, parents, admin and community. It really is something great indeed!

    Thanks for posting, Sista.
     
  4. truetothecause

    truetothecause Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    BlacKTastic article Sistah Faith!

    Kinda reminds me of the "Deacons for Defense"

    Also, many 'head start' programs have worked to integrate fathers into the mix yet, we don't always hear of those "success stories"


    Thanks for this sub-forum and for keeping a eye on the prizes of WE!
    :hearts2:
     
  5. FaithSoulSistah

    FaithSoulSistah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Oh I know we don't get a lot of exposure to success stories. But that doesn't mean people are not working in the trenches just because we don't hear a lot about it.

    Btw, I was thrilled when I found this forum on Destee. It really helps to provide a little balance.
     
  6. truetothecause

    truetothecause Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ok...my bad...I thought YOU started it

    My apologies Mama Destee and team.

    Finally, We don't always hear about nor broadcast them..yet...WE KNOW they are happening. Maybe I missed this forum cause my focus is elsewhere and/or their had not been many consistent postings here.

    :hearts2:
     
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