Morning Study Club learns about Early Act First Knights Program
The Morning Study Club opened the new year by learning about the Early Act First Knights Program in the Victoria Independent School District discussed by Louis Bolt, president of the Victoria Rotary Club. The program is sponsored by the Rotary Club and focuses on kindergarten through fifth-grade students. It was originated by Randall Parr, an former U.S. Navy chaplain in the late 90s. Its goal is to instill ethical strength and moral courage into the school curriculum. At present it is active in eight of the Victoria Independent School District elementary schools.
Ten minutes of each day are devoted to teaching such values as tolerance, responsibility, confidence, perseverance, discipline, respect, honesty, compassion, friendliness and service. An awards program is held annually in which each school honors a student for each virtue with a medallion. Knighting ceremonies are held at the Victoria Community Center where knights and horses perform actual jousting contests, and teachers and parents wear appropriate regalia. Selected fifth graders are actually knighted. DeLeon Elementary School was recently honored as having the best Early Acts First Knights Program out of 60 in a three-state area. The children organized a donation drive for Saint Isabel's Children's Charity in Angola, Africa, where 56 large crates full of school supplies, toiletries, toys, shoes and cleaning supplies were delivered by Nalco Company to the African charity. Aloe Elementary School children had a fundraiser for the Heifer International Program in which they sold Smencils (scented pencils). The Heifer Program is an international charity organization that works to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling communities. The children were able to choose what animals they would send. As funding becomes available, the Rotary is planning to add more of the school campuses.
Bold asked that the club's honorarium be sent to Restoration House Ministries.
The meeting was led by Virginia Shultz. Mardy Ratliff led the collect and the pledges to the flags. The speaker was introduced by Michael Ann Ruddock. Dottie Mints presented the treasurer's report.
Ruddock discussed the Jan. 16 program. Don Polzin, executive director of Gulf Bend, and Lane Johnson, clinical director, will present the program.
President Shultz announced that Betty Mercer had resumed her position as telephone committee chairman, and she thanked the hostesses, Mints and Ruddock.