The Gentleman’s Quorum of Cook Elementary School sprang into action when it learned that the Salvation Army’s annual holiday Red Kettle campaign was well short of its goal.
Two members of the Gentleman’s Quorum, which is made up of fourth and fifth graders, volunteered to ring the bell on a recent Saturday outside of the Walgreens on Cloverdale Drive.
“We wanted to do something to help our community,” said fifth-grader Rodney Baldwin. “The Salvation Army helps a lot of people, and we decided we wanted to help. We wanted to let people know that we are a caring organization, and we care about what happens to members of our community.”
Rodney and Deven Royster took turns ringing the bell on the cold, rainy day.
“One of the character pillars that we try to represent is citizenship,” said Deven. “By helping others we are showing that we are good citizens in the community.”
Elliott Miley, one of the advisors for the group, said the club is designed to build the character of its members.
“The GQ Club operates on six principles,” Miley said. “First and foremost, we focus on respect for ourselves and others. Another important tenet we require of members is trustworthiness. That is followed by fairness, caring and citizenship. In the end we hope all these principles will be reflected in the character of these young gentlemen.”
Another point of emphasis for the group is community service.
“We require all of our members to perform at least 20 hours of community service per year,” Miley said. “Of that total, 10 hours must be performed outside the school in the community and 10 hours must be performed at the school.”
The GQ Club is the brainchild of Sam Cook, who works in the school’s fifth-grade classroom. Though still in its infancy, the club has already positively impacted the student body at Elementary School Academy and Cook Elementary.
“The Gentleman’s Quorum has already brought about some positive changes at the school,” said Rod Dupree, principal of Elementary Academy, a school within at school at Cook. “The young men have responded with positive attitudes and are learning important lessons that they can use in life.”
The young members have also taken field trips. They, along with other students from Cook Elementary and the Elementary Academy, have had lunch at Kilpatrick Stockton and Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse. Prior to the outings, they were taught public etiquette.