By: Jennifer Britt
Tracy Harlan presented certificates of recognitions to shareholders at the Tucker County School Board meeting. Four organizations were recognized for good deeds and services provided to the students of Tucker County Schools.
Harlan started off the recognition program with the Tucker County Rotary Club. The Rotary Club provides services for Humanitarian projects, scholarships, literacy projects, and youth programs throughout Tucker County. Harlan recognized Cynthia Kolson for the Rotary Club’s passion toward increasing and maintaining the Tucker County School libraries. In 2020, the Rotary Club started with a grant for $700 and 950 books were purchased. The Rotary Club now receives a $2,000 grant and purchased well over 2,000 books. Harlan said, “Cynthia Kolson, my mentor, former superintendent, and now beloved friend and one of the wonderful individuals who make things happen through their vast fundraising work. Thank you!”
Jason Heater, manager of the local Dollar General, was presented his certificate of recognition for his contribution from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF). Last November, Harlan wrote a grant to the DGLF with the goal of providing explicit summer reading instruction to first graders to make up for the loss of face-to-face instruction during the time of COVID and remote learning. The grant provided for six weeks of half-day instruction with a certified reading teacher and an at home library for each child.
Harlan received the grant with the help of Amber Kyle and Tracy Teets. Harlan was able to combine the grant with the Summer Sole monies and provide six weeks of whole day instruction thanks to the generous donation of the DGLF. Students who participated in the program made a 20 percent gain in their reading scores. Harlan named Heater a “local hero”.
Appalachian World Program was absent from meeting but honored as well. Appalachian World Programs through World Vision provides teachers in Tucker County with classroom supplies twice a year. The supplies range from crayons and pencils, to furniture and art supplies. The program also supplied stem kits for each student in the Summer Sole program.
Lastly, Harlan recognized another set of hometown heroes, Barbara Simmons and the Community Acton. Simmons and the Community Action program provided students from all three Tucker County schools with nutritious snacks for the day throughout summer school. Simmons realized the need for students to have a worry-free summer from missing meals that they would normally get at school. Harlan said, “Not only are they impacting the fight on child hunger but providing these snacks they help gain proper nutrition for academic growth as well.”
“I hope that tonight you can all feel all the love and appreciation for partnering with us to provide the best education and environment for all students! Thank you!” said Harlan. Harlan also presented the school board with sample baskets of the books the schools received from the Rotary Club grant.
The next regular meeting of the Tucker County Board of Education will be held on Monday, March 21, at 4:30 p.m. at the Tucker County Board of Education Office.