Garrard has three 'Schools of Promise'

August 12, 2003|PHIL PENDLETON

LANCASTER - New honors have been bestowed upon Garrard County High School and Lancaster Elementary. They, along with Camp Dick Robinson Elementary which was honored three years ago, have been recognized by America's Promise as "Schools of Promise."

"It's a constant reminder and challenge to make sure we are making as many opportunities for students as we can," said GCHS principal Kevin Stull.

"We want to make sure kids can be successful at school," said Camp Dick Robinson principal Janet Overstreet.

America's Promise was started by Secretary of State Colin Powell, former presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, and First Lady Nancy Reagan during the Presidential Summit of 1997. The former presidents along with dozens of mayors, governors, and community delegates challenged the nation to make youth a national priority.

Schools must keep five "promises" for students

Each school chosen is supposed to keep five "promises" for students. They are to make sure students: Have ongoing relationships with caring adults, including parents, mentors, tutors and coaches; have safe places with structural activities during non-school hours; have a healthy state and future; receive marketable skills through effective education; and have opportunities to give back through community service.


"I would like to tell you we will work towards all of these," said Stull. "That's our goal. We don't want to limit it to one or two areas."

Since GCHS was just chosen, it will be awhile before the fruits of their labors are known.

"If you call me back a year from now to follow up, hopefully I will be able to give you a plethora of things we've done," Stull said.

Overstreet said Camp Dick is working to make sure kids at risk - those that may not be successful - have adult mentors. Mentors include people in the community, staff members, and church leaders. Camp Dick also offers after-school tutoring in reading and math, she said.

Overstreet said being a School of Promise is just an expansion of the school's everyday functions. Bus drivers, cooks and custodians are involved, she said. "It's a total faculty, staff and community effort," she said. "We want the entire community to be involved, so the kids won't be left behind. The single most important factor ... is that someone cares. We want to make sure these kids have at least one person that cares."

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