Men provide mentorship for students returning to school

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 8/10/19

Encouragement for the first day of school came in spades at Maddox Intermediate School, thanks to a group of role models.Children were greeted on the first day of school with fist bumps and bright …

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Men provide mentorship for students returning to school

Posted

Encouragement for the first day of school came in spades at Maddox Intermediate School, thanks to a group of role models.

Children were greeted on the first day of school with fist bumps and bright smiles from a group of men from the Pi Upsilon Sigma 1914 chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.

The men are part of the I Am My Brother's Keeper initiative, and they have provided mentorship to students in Jasper City Schools since 2015 when they were then visiting students at West Jasper Elementary School. They now visit Maddox students one day each week to help with schoolwork or simply serve as a friend to listen.

"The goal, initially, was to get involved to mentor young men in the school system. We realized it was not just the young men, it's a lot of times the young ladies that don't have a man in their life," Tarnett "Todd" Morris of My Brother's Keeper told the Daily Mountain Eagle last year. "Just that little bit of time that we spend with them makes all the difference in their day and their week."

My Brother's Keeper is part of a large, national initiative to adopt a school and mentor its youth. Thousands of schools have been adopted through Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity across the country, in response to former President Barack Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative that began in 2014.

"They always come on the first day of school just to welcome, because the kids are all nervous, and I think that's where we got the positive feedback," Principal Marc Sargent said in 2018.

Maddox librarian Molly Bailey told the Daily Mountain Eagle on Thursday that students look forward to seeing the familiar faces of the men from My Brother's Keeper each year, and it's always a highlight for them to visit on the first day of school.

"Maddox truly appreciates and loves when these gentlemen come to visit," Bailey said in a post of Facebook. "They always know how to brighten any day."