During the spring of 2019, the Mebane Foundation began piloting a unique tutoring program that utilizes a retired teacher to provide the Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP) to students who don’t receive the powerful literacy intervention during the school day.
“Our number one goal is to help children succeed in reading,” said Larry Colbourne, president of the Mebane Foundation. “Secondly, we are trying to assist the Hill Center by testing a tutoring model that makes the Hill methodology accessible to a lot more families and students.”
Note: This article by Mike Barnhardt was originally published in the Davie County Enterprise-Record and is republished here with permission.
We’re all different, but not different.
Even as a fourth-grader at Mocksville Elementary, Honor Draughn knows that. And she knows that the message would be great for her peers.
Luwonna Oakes, a tutor at the Mebane Foundation in Mocksville, helped children last spring to write, edit and publish their own books.
“All of the students did a superb job on their books and they were each special,” she said. “I had them decide on a targeted audience they were writing for – their author’s purpose.
A Message With An Impact
Honor Draughn wrote an endearing book about showing kindness to those who are ‘Different, but not Different,’ the title of her book.”
She donated a book to each elementary school guidance counselor in Davie County. And according to at least one of those counselors, the book is working.
“Honor is a young child making a difference in Davie Schools, impacting peers with a book on such a needed topic is so special,” Oakes said.
The book, Honor said, is dedicated to everybody who may feel different.
“Do you know some people are different, but not different? Some people do not get it, but it’s true. People think that some children are different, but inside they are not so different.
“Take the time to get to know them,” she wrote. “Some people that seem different have been through a lot. Difficult things have happened to some children and other people make fun of them and judge them from the outside because of the way they act.”
The children, she wrote, may have lost a parent. Some parents who make bad choices have children who are confused, upset or angry.
“Some people do not give these children a chance to prove what is on the inside, behind the way they act.”
Some of the children may be less fortunate. She urges her peers not to brag about expensive toys or lavish vacations. “I do not want to make them feel like they don’t get to do fun things in life.
“If you see someone that is being judged or if you are being judged, remember, I am unique for who I am. This makes me who I am. You do not have to change to fit in. I want you to remember this, you are you, you are who you are, and do not let anybody stand in your way of you being you.”
She urges her peers to be kind to one another, “even if someone is mean to you.”
Tell an Adult
If hit or kicked, tell an adult. “This is not being a tattletale, but dealing with a problem in the right way.
“Be a good friend. Do not judge people by the way they act. You can be a good influence and be there for others.”
Helping Others Helps Us Too
Helping a child with a problem can help you and the child, she said.
“We all are different. No one is perfect,” she wrote, encouraging peers to look for ways people are like you, not different.
“I want you to remember this. Everybody is different. We all are really different and that’s what makes us unique. It makes me be me and you be you.”