Mt. Olive Collegiate FFA members assist local elementary students during their annual ‘Coats for Kids’ project.
Several members of the Mt. Olive Collegiate FFA Chapter
in North Carolina aspire to be agricultural educators after graduation. Until then, they are earning valuable classroom experience through a partnership with a local elementary school.
Carver Elementary School in Mt. Olive was looking for help in improving end-of-grade test scores for its third- and fourth-grade students. Mt. Olive Collegiate FFA answered the call; 15 members will be working in the elementary classrooms, primarily helping children with their math and reading abilities.
Mt. Olive collegiate members are working individually to coordinate schedules with the elementary teachers. The experience should be beneficial for everyone involved. The college students will benefit from their experiences working one-on-one with elementary students. In turn, the elementary students will benefit from individualized attention and from having positive role models working in their classrooms. The teachers will benefit from having additional help in the classroom, and hopefully the school will achieve its goal of higher test scores.
The classroom project is one of many ways that the Mt. Olive chapter has worked with Carver Elementary School. Last year the chapter collected more than $2,500 to provide new coats to underprivileged children at the school. Working with the local organization Coats for Kids, collegiate FFA members were able to spread holiday cheer to more than 150 children.
"This is the sixth year that Mt. Olive Collegiate FFA has asked the community to help us help others through our Coats for Kids project," said Meagan Parsons, a freshman at Mt. Olive. "Even as tough as the economy has been, businesses and individuals in the area have really responded to our request for assistance."
"Mount Olive College and the Collegiate FFA understand the meaning of community service," said Dr. Sandy Maddox, chapter a dvisor and interim d irector of Mt. Olive’s Lois G. Agribusiness Center. "Our students look forward to the opportunity to help, and the impact it has on our collegiate FFA members is every bit as positive as it is on the children receiving coats."
Two Mt. Olive Collegiate FFA members , Edward Olive of Benson, N.C., and Alaina Airheart of Concord, N.C., recently received American FFA Degrees at the 83rd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. It is the highest degree awarded by the organization and recognizes students’ demonstrated leadership abilities and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing and service programs.
Last year, the chapter was named as the 2010 Club of the Year at Mt. Olive College.