Sutton: Let involvement continue past forum
Seeking to bridge the gap between the community and the school systems, the Sampson County NAACP collaborated with both Clinton City and Sampson County Schools to bring about the inaugural event, Back to School Rally/Town Hall Education Forum.
“The NAACP wants to be the bridge that helps create this unity between the community, parents, our children and the school system,” NAACP President Larry Sutton said. “We believe that education is a civil rights issue and every child deserves a quality education.”
“Ensuring Success for Every Student” was the theme on Monday night’s agenda at First Baptist Church. Members of the NAACP, CCS, SCS and community gathered in the Multipurpose Building to work together toward that goal.
“We have a large staff here tonight, to try to help you answer any questions,” SCS Superintendent, Dr. Jamie King said. “They’re going to do some different presentations about how, you as a parent, have access to your student and your child’s information and their grades and attendance. They’ll cover our curriculum program, our work program and what we do to try to help your children.”
“I will say though, that if you don’t hear it, ask, because why we can’t do this without you and you can’t do this without us,” he added. “It takes all of us working together to achieve this, so we truly thank you for all your support.”
Those were statements given during the superintendent remarks and CCS’ own Dr. Wesley Johnson shared his thoughts as well.
“A big ‘thank you’ to Dr. King, he and I have become pretty close,” said Johnson. “A lot of people think that there’s this thing that exists between the county and city schools. There’s not a thing that exist because we are partners, we are colleagues. We work with the county schools and they work with us because, as he said, it’s all about public education.”
“I got a few things to say tonight but the first thing I want to say is thank you for the support of showing up for this meeting and for public education,” he said. “We could not do what we do if not for your support.”
He’d continue touching on the significance of this forum, a moment he said was important for its role in growing connections and communication.
“That said, I’ve been in meetings since eight o’clock and the thing that always comes up are the passion and the importance of connection and communication,” Johnson said. “The two things you have to have in education is connections and communication, that’s why I’m glad we’re having this meeting.”
“Why, because we are connecting with our citizens, we are connecting with our parents, we are connecting with our students, we’re connecting to the NAACP, First Baptist Church,” he said. “We’re connecting with each and every one of you here tonight and that is important. It’s not only important, but it’s vital.”
Following those marks was a wealth of information provided to students, parents and the community on the multitude of programs both school systems have, each aimed at helping to achieve the evening’s theme. Staff for both systems presented that information.
After School Education: Project Uplift, Parent Involvement/Engagement, Tracking Student Progress via Power School, Reading and Literacy Instruction, Mathematics Instruction and Educator’s Handbook Review were a few of the topics discussed during the forum.
All parties involved got to communicate with one another after the informational presentation were complete. While that covered the majority of the forum, parents were able to engage directly with the staff of both school systems.
There were inquiries about fixing issues on enrolling student athletes into honor courses, clarifications on differences between the two school systems reading and literacy instruction and updates on student problems solving teaching methods for mathematics instruction.
Those were only a few that time allowed. Even so, Sutton said that after the forum ends, their inquires shouldn’t.
“Don’t forget, you have handouts tonight, you have key names and emails to contact those key figures,” Sutton said. “Don’t let this be the end for your concern about the school system. This must be a year-long concern. You must engage with the schools the entire year. We want you to retain an action plan that will put you into the school very often. This will help you become more familiar with what’s going on in the schools.”
“By doing that, you will become an educated parent and you will help to serve in further growing your child’s future,” he added. “That way, we will work and help dedicate ourselves to providing what’s best for our children.”
For a list of the contacts or any of the information discussed during the forum, visit SCS at www.sampson.k12.nc.us and CCS at www.clinton.k12.nc.us. For those interested in the Sampson County NAACP, visit their website at naacp.org.
Reach Michael B. Hardison at 910-249-4231. Follow us on Twitter at @SamsponInd, like us on Facebook, and check out our Instagram at @thesampsonindependent.