“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” B.B. King
Well, “the thrill of education is not gone“ in Copey. There is much going on there as well in the nearby town, La Cima, where the new satellite Learning Center is operating with one volunteer so far. The Learning Center is now officially under the direction of Angela, Eve’s replacement.
In La Cima, more children now have the opportunity to improve their English-speaking, reading, and writing skills. Having a satellite learning center in my opinion is a very bold step. It shows the Copey Learning Center is becoming the practical educational solution to the problems small rural communities are experiencing while trying to prepare their children for adult life. Just as the Learning Center is proving to be a successful response to the need for additional education for the Copey community, “Friends of Copey” is also proving to be a viable means of support for the Learning Center. As “Friends” we provide support in multiple ways to the learning process while avoiding the unfortunate hassles of trying to work through bureaucracies. Being able to communicate and work directly with the staff at the Learning Center is a tremendous advantage as we learned with the “Big Parking Lot Sale”. Also, working directly with “Friends” is also a major benefit.
For many of you I know this sounds like a worn out record. But in this day and time, repeating the truth is important. What we do as “Friends” for the Copey community is significant and very unique. I believe many “Friends” appreciate the opportunity to do something humanitarian whereby the results can be witnessed. Our approach to offering and providing support is practical. The staff, the Board, the community, the parents, and certainly the children know of our willingness to be their partners and “Friends”.
As “Friends of Copey” we should be excited, encouraged, and inspired to see our efforts having a very positive impact on children. The children are enjoying their time at the Learning Center and are experiencing a great deal of educational success.
With administrative activities due to the change-over settling down, we are expecting to hear soon about the scholarships recipients. We will not get too deep into the recipients’ background for privacy reasons. However, we believe each donor should know the name and hopefully see a photo of their student. I enjoy seeing photos of the students and over time I am beginning to recognize several by their name.
I am hoping this week to determine what additional means of support we will work on for the balance of the school year. Students in the US are getting close to ending their school year while the Copey students will continue until December. “Friends” are always welcomed and invited to share ideas with me. I know many of you and with the growing number of “Friends” with an education background, there is much you can offer. Communicate with me…you make a difference!
I want to acknowledge the passing of Riley B. King, aka B.B. King. He passed away late Thursday evening at age 89. B.B. King was already a Blues legend it seems when I first began to seriously listen to music at an early age. I had the pleasure of seeing him twice in concert and heard live his performance of “The Thrill Is Gone”.
Ben E. King, was once the lead singer for the Drifters. He sang lead on “There Goes My Baby” and “This Magic Moment” plus many other top of the chart hits by the Drifters. I first heard the Drifters on a 45 (some of you know what a 45 is) when I was in St. Louis while on Christmas vacation with family when I first heard “There Goes My Baby”. I was only 14 years old. A few years later, as a solo artist, King hit the charts again with “Stand By Me” and “Spanish Harlem” and even more hits songs. He passed away on April 30.
Percy Sledge best known for the original version of “When a Man Loves A Woman” passed away on April 14. I first heard this unforgettable song during a senior trip to Washington, DC. On the final night of the trip, classmates were treated to a dance on a riverboat on the Potomac and the DJ introduced us southwest Virginia students to Percy Sledge and “When A Man Loves A Woman”. I have never forgotten the time and place when I first heard both singers and these two songs. God Bless all three artists. Their combined years of singing is over 150 years. They join the heavenly choir already assembled with noted members including Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, Etta James, and Johnny Taylor all singing up there in soulful harmony (to list but only a very a few). Even Marian Anderson and Mahalia Jackson are adding their unforgettable voices no doubt. Perhaps the Thrill Is Not Gone but has just relocated to Heaven.
I want to say thank you to several “Friends” who commented on last week’s Post pertaining to Mother’s Day. Mothers are so special. Your comments were very wonderful to read and I would like to share part of a response from one “Friend”. This “Friend” personally knew Ms. Dunn and had traveled with her to Great Britain with the choir from their church. Ms. Dunn and others gave him a T-Shirt from Great Britain as a gift. He spoke of his own mother and said “I too, was blessed by our Lord. She and my Dad were great role models. My Mom died in 1984 and I should have been taking your approach every Mother’s Day since. I’ll start this coming June for my Dad and will try to remember to do it for both parents over my remaining years.”
Needless to say, such comments from “Friends” provide me a great deal of inspiration and comfort.
Okay! I did not report on Gordon last week. I was too upset. You know…if you cannot say something nice, then do not say anything. He finished somewhere in the back of the line last week so I was a bit unhappy. This week he finished 4th and so I am back being a devoted fan again. I just needed a short break. I take this racing stuff way too serious at times. Overall, he is in the top ten drivers and well, it could be worse. He is a great driver, gives back to the community, and has always shown himself to be a classy guy. God, please give me strength to get through this season! Amen…