It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. By Albert Einstein
Okay…Now let’s all stand up and cheer! We have some of the best news yet for this year and I am encouraging each of you reading this Post to enjoy the moment and grasp the significance of this achievement.
Mariana…our Learning Center student and an AGB Scholarship recipient, was successful at the semi-finals for the “Impromptu Speech” contest. Next, she is competing for a national title at the National Spelling Bee contest being held in a couple of weeks. This is such really great news and we all are very proud of Mariana. We thank everyone for the support and assistance she has been given to make it to the highest level of the competition.
This is a huge accomplishment because she will represent the small community of Copey and the Learning Center. There will be many talented and highly competitive students to defeat.
Several other Learning Center students have reached the second level but have yet to win at the third level to my knowledge. The competition is tough and it is very difficult for a rural student to make it to Nationals.
So Mariana, parents, teachers, and all, please know that “Friends of Copey” is extremely proud of you and will keep our eyes on you. We would love for you to bring back a championship trophy for all of us.
Just making it to Nationals is an inspiration to other students at the Learning Center and the Copey community. These achievements provide outstanding role models and leaders that other students can follow. I am certain others can do this also and I look forward to seeing more and more students from Copey making it all the way to the Finals one day.
In other news, you are reminded that I am in Tennessee and Virginia. I have attended my meetings at Emory & Henry College and will spend the rest of my time with kids and grandkids who live nearby. I am joyful and optimistic about the present and future of our college. There is much going on with many positive things in the works for students. I can not say enough “good” about the college staff, faculty, and students I encounter during my time on and around campus. The college President and the Board of Trustees which I am a member, work very hard to make this one of the most outstanding small liberal arts colleges in America. It is an honor to be part of this college.
Speaking of being honored, there were present at the meetings, about nine E&H college staff and Trustees among others, who were the generous donors who funded the travel costs for Noelia, Celeste, and Angela during their trip to the USA and the E&H College campus last June. I personally thanked each one again for their extraordinary generosity and support.
And guess what! Each said they were ready to support another couple of Learning Center students to our campus next June.
Dr. Gaia, Director of International Education at E&H College, is credited for setting up the “Pathway” for two EH College students to travel to Copey and for our guests to travel from Copey to the college. She has assured me that we will do the “Pathway” project again in 2017.
Therefore, when I get home in a couple of days, I will know there are strong and willing supporters affiliated with E&H College ready and committed to work together as “Partners” again to help make a real difference in the lives of many young students. Amazing! Simply Amazing!
And there is much more to celebrate! I also met others who are learning about “Friends” for the first time and seem very willing to support us. I was introduced to the Vice-Principal where my grandkids attend school and we spoke briefly about setting up a Pen Pal project for their students. We will follow-up and will get this initiated.
So in summary, it is not just Mariana heading to Nationals, or just planning for new students going to and coming from Copey in 2017, or the ongoing donor support among E&H College folks, or the opportunity to set up a new Pen Pal program, it is always much more than all this. It is knowing that when you commit to doing even just a little, we all as “Friends” can make BIG differences in the lives of others.
So, do not just be a “Friend”…be a proud and connected “Friend”. In about a month, this Blog will celebrate its 3rd birthday. Over 150 Posts have been issued covering almost one Post per week. It has been a real joy. Several of you have been on board since the first Post you received in December 2013. Others have come along afterwards. Most of you have been involved long enough to find something to feel very proud of as a “Friend”. I encourage you to stay connected/involved because we still have lots to do including a couple of surprises being worked on.
I am totally unaware of any group or organization that does what we do, the way we do it, and has so many achievements. All of it is because we work together as “Friends”.