Breakfast of Champions

Photos by Tevin Stinson

Breakfast of Champions
March 21
01:30 2019

In an attempt to connect male students with mentors and role models, last week administrators at Julian Gibson Elementary School held their second annual 100 Men Challenge. During the event on Friday, March 15, men from all walks of life showed up to enjoy breakfast with male students in the fourth and fifth grades.

According to Principal Glenn Starnes II, the initiative, which his team started last year, falls under the umbrella of “Big Rock #2.” Starnes said at Gibson they focus on three “Big Rocks” that focus on: high quality, core instruction, family and community engagement, and professional development for teachers and staff. Gibson said after holding the event for all grade levels last year, they decided to focus on fourth and fifth graders this year. He mentioned they also have similar events for girls.

“Today is an opportunity for our young scholars to see and engage in conversation with positive role models in the community. We know and realize that a number of our children may have an absent father or absent male role model in their household or immediate community and if they’re like me, they won’t have a male teacher until they get to high school,” said Gibson. “We really want to engage in opportunities for our students to interact with males so they can see what positive role models and positive success looks like.

“… We invite men from across our school district, across our local community, and even across the state to come in and share with our young boys.”

Starnes said he has seen a tremendous improvement from male students since implementing the 100 Men Challenge and other events last school year. Gibson said any child who is in need of a mentor is paired with one. He said, “I’m a firm believer that the achievement gap can only be closed by building relationships with children.

“We have to find a way to regularly build relationships with children, not just with their classroom teacher, not just with their principal, but with folk in the community who may have that one positive word or one positive quote to give them that takes them through the remainder of the school year or the remainder of their journey here in elementary school.”

After enjoying breakfast with their special guests, several students said they learned about careers they had never heard of before. While making their way to class, former NFL player and current head football coach at North Forsyth, Jay Blair encouraged students to have a good day with a big high five.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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