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And if ‘The U’ isn’t a true blue miracle, I don’t know what one is
Our world is eat up with people who do not have a grasp of the English language. I am not referencing those who go willy nilly with the usage of apostrophes. I also am not poking fun at the ones who seem to believe the word “be” can be expressed in every sentence – “I be his daddy,” “Ronald be here,” and “Who you be?” And I am not chastising the individuals who toss in the catch phase of the moment into each conversation – “It’s cool,” “You one fly girl,” or “That photo’s straight.”
Nope, I am zoning in on the members of the public who use over-the-top caliber words when a lesser word would be more accurate.
A word that best elaborates my point is the word “miracle.” Typically, it has to be something in the realm of an act of God to be a true miracle.
Hall-of-fame sportscaster Al Michaels uttered the famous question “Do you believe in miracles?” when a bunch of United States rag-tag hockey players – internationally speaking – defeated all-powerful U.S.S.R. in the semifinals of the 1980 Winter Olympics.
It is not a miracle to the level of Christ walking on water or a medical report where the full spread of cancer through a human body just miraculously disappears, but I give a nod to the hockey team’s triumph that would lead to their gold-medal victory over Finland.
Calling something a “miracle” must only be done when it assuredly is a Grade-A-stamped, no-questions-asked, you-got-that-right-buddy kind of wow.
Miracles do occur in our modern times and I cannot dismiss that I witnessed one last week.
For two years, the program Parent University has been held once a month throughout the school year except during the incredibly busy month of December. Parent University offers adults a free chance to better understand what today’s youth deal with inside and outside the classroom. Knowledgeable instructors provide tips and open the door to discussions on issues like test taking, Internet learning possibilities and perils, harmfulness of drugs, ways to nix bullying, making healthy snacks and explaining what the CRCT is all about. And that is only a few of issues covered while children accessed the technology bus filled with computers and games. Then the nights are topped off with pizza for dinner. All of this is free to the public.
Sadly, however, people have not been taking advantage of this program – one that in other cities would have cost the public a fee. However, low attendance certainly was not the case Jan. 6.
Typically, the number of Parent University organizers were more than the number of parents who attended and only slightly fewer in count than the parents and children combined total. To handle the appetites of the visiting parents and children, about four or five large pizzas would be ordered.
On Thursday last week, something truly was different. A local pizzeria received a phone call for 45 pizzas. That’s correct – 45 pizzas. The business was astonished almost as much as the person who called in the order.
A record total of 170 parents and children converged on the site of the former Performance Learning Center and former middle school on Pine Street for the “Bingo for Books” night of Parent University, which was sponsored in conjunction with the Screven County Elementary School.
When I and my family came up Cherry Street and made that right-hand turn onto the property for the event, I aloud said, “There are cars here.” Still in disbelief, I said it again.
After parking the van, I, again speaking aloud, said, “There are people in line at the door.”
Rodney Williams, one of the organizers, saw us, came out the front door and announced across the parking lot, “I thought I was in the wrong place!”
Like me, Rodney has seen the lack of participation in the worthwhile Parent University program. So much we just two hours earlier that Thursday began to dream up some creative ideas to get people to show. Our thoughts: Who would be the biggest draw in a dunking booth? Or who would be the target of choice for a well-thrown pie?
We will put those notions on hold for now as many a person got to digest the pleasures of Parent University and the magical phrase is “Bingo for Books.” With the abundance of smiles on the faces of parents and children, I am convinced they have told and will tell more individuals about the University.
Once more chairs and tables were squeezed into the large room at the former PLC building, assistant elementary school principal Vonncina Kirkland informed parents how they can enhance their children’s reading habits – be it from books that come from the SCES library or ones that can be checked out at the county’s library. The world has vast opportunities for those who can read.
After Kirkland’s comments, the children – with the assistance of their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles – played the timeless classic game of Bingo. Each winner got to come to the front of the room to select a book. There were a multitude of winners and an even bigger supply of books on hand. The night showcased how spending time with your child can be loads of fun and extremely educational simultaneously.
Pre-k coordinator Melanie Lovett would call out “B5” and that would be relayed to the far end of the room by Williams. Then there was a “G47” and an “I14.” All of these were followed by big shouts of “Bingo” from yet-to-be big-bodied children.
For the children who did not win during the several rounds of Bingo, they too were able to walk up after the sessions of games to the table and also pick out a book to their liking.
Finish the evening off with some pizza, cookies and a drink and that’s one splendid night.
The next Parent University will be the first Thursday of February on the third. We ask that all of you who attended the Jan. 6 event please come back and bring some friends. For those who have never visited with the University, I invite you. You love your children. The Parent University organizers love your children. So together let’s do what we can to help make your children the best they can be – and have fun doing it.
Remember: PU is for you. It is miraculous.
Enoch Autry is the publisher-editor of the Sylvania Telephone.