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Fifth-graders receive Moore Family Awards

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Students, from left, Kaelyn Rodriguez, Akhi Uddin, Ja' Kya Pittman and Keziah Avent recently recieved Moore Family Awards at Baskerville Elementary School.

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From Contributed Reports.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The fifth-grade promotional exercises and awards ceremony at Baskerville Elementary School took place this year the morning of May 23.

It proved to be a tremendous experience from the very beginning to the very end. Using “The Future Is Yours” as the theme for this auspicious event, the jam packed auditorium witnessed the very powerful and fulfilling send-off these very promising students were given. This was a very well organized program in which the students took center stage as active participants.

Like elegant soldiers, the fifth-graders entered the school auditorium clad in black and white attire, marching proudly with heads held high, to a beautifully orchestrated instrumental rendition of “Pomp And Circumstance.” This melody has been used quite often on momentous occasions such as this, but somehow the significance of the occasion and its meaning for this particular group of students gave it even more passion.

After a few preliminaries were done, namely, the pledge of allegiance, the mission/vision and welcome, Serenity Perry read a powerfully moving poem by Nicole M. O’Neil entitled “A Family Is Like A Circle.” That beautiful poem was immediately followed by a very jubilant musical performance of “The World’s Greatest,” after the students assembled themselves on stage. Subsequently, Damiana Evans introduced Bishop Shelton Daniels, pastor of Greater Joy Baptist Church of Rocky Mount and Roanoke Rapids, as the keynote speaker for this occasion.

After approaching the rostrum, Daniels stated facetiously, “I can hear in my own spirit somebody saying another preacher with a microphone; we gon’ be here all day long.”

But within the space of approximately three minutes or more, Daniels spoke earnestly from his own very personal experiences to the audience in general and to the students in particular. He challenged them to make good choices instead of bad ones that they will regret and spend years trying to correct the resulting damage, including possibly losing their lives altogether.

Speaking truthfully, he divulged to the audience that as a very recalcitrant youth and young adult, he hung around with people of ill repute, experimented with drugs and did other crimes that eventually landed him in prison for several years. While there he made a very profound commitment that when his sentence was served, he would turn his whole life around and start pursuing a path antithetical to the one that led him to prison. He admonished the audience not to be victims of their own bad choices and reiterated to them to get it right from the very outset to avoid regrets and the misery of making bad choices.

“If you show me your friends, I’ll show you your future,” he said.

He encouraged the fifth-graders to stay focused on their positive goals, stay on the right track and achieve something great. Those words will reverberate in their minds for years to come and will facilitate them as they make wise choices. What a marvelous message for these students, who are our future leaders, to hear at such a pivotal point in their formative years. Whether he knows it or not, Daniels redirected the interest of many and saved the lives of others with this powerful, heartfelt message.

After such an awesome message, the fifth-graders returned to the stage with a very moving musical rendition of “You’re Gonna Be Great” by Jekalyn Carr, which featured a mesmerizing tenor soloist to which the audience was very receptive, as evidenced by their loud applause.

The next portion of the fifth-grade recognition ceremony was the presentation of certificates and awards. Toward the middle and near the end of the program, a multiplicity of awards in many subjects and clearly designated categories were presented, including, reading, science, math, greatest academic growth, perfect attendance, citizenship, terrific kid, greatest academic growth, music, art, physical education and honor roll, of which Rakiya Foreman was the only student presented with a certificate for making the “A” honor roll, and the passing out of certificates of promotion to the sixth grade to attend middle school.

Needless to say, there were many happy students after they were rewarded and commended very highly for all of their hard work and many sacrifices. According to the program, several special awards were presented in the very first part of this section. Principal Roderick L. Tillery Sr. presented Daniels with a beautiful black travel bag, as they shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. Tillery continued to present Damiana Evans with the Jessie Mae Knight Reading Foundation Award.

Immediately following these presentations, Janice Williams, secretary, and Wanda Davis represented Truth Tabernacle’s Adopt A School Ministries as they announced surprisingly their annual “Books for the Summer” project, indicating that they would be handing out books to each student as they come across the stage to receive their promotion certificates. Temple also assisted with this “Battle of the Books” presentation. The purpose of this project was to whet the students’ appetite for reading and inspire them to secure even more interesting books to read throughout the summer.

Interestingly enough, two beautiful young students were in a wheelchair and on a motorized scooter. Sakeria Ervin rode her scooter to the front stage area and made a very passionate presentation to three fellow classmates, a young lady and two young men. With sincerity of heart, she told them in front of the entire audience assembled that she regarded them as the best friends that she ever had. Those award recipients assisted Sakeria in getting around at school all year.

Very shortly thereafter, Jaquez Murphy, a volunteer mentor coordinator, made an very impassioned introduction to three young men to whom he presented awards. Daniels returned to the podium to announce that his church has chosen to undertake a project that selects one student annually for the church to pay for the winner’s school uniforms for the entire school year. This pronouncement was met with much approval by those present in the audience. The inaugural winner of the S.E. Daniels Award was Keyshaun Lynch.

Murphy was invited back to the front of the stage along with Kayla Reams, Baskerville’s student support specialist for the school and the community, to receive special recognition and awards for their devoted service. Reams will be leaving Baskerville to pursue other interests. Murphy will also be leaving Baskerville, with the intent of returning at some point in the future to work in some type of mentorship capacity. The audience applauded very enthusiastically to this announcement and these presentations. Nyzurii Anderson also received special recognition for her hard work and dedicated service.

Although all previous awards were graciously received and deeply appreciated, the students and the audience eagerly awaited the presentation of the Moore Family Awards. This year marks the sixteenth year that these coveted and very prestigious awards have been presented with great pleasure to the deserving students very carefully selected by Baskerville’s awards committee. Since the four student awards were discussed so eloquently and in such exquisite detail in the Telegram’s “Parker Middle Schoo” article, dated Wednesday, May 22, the names of each award and that of each winner will be disclosed presently.

The four student awards presented were The Christanna Dancy Moore Academic Excellence and Humanitarian Award, The Otto Moore Valedictorian Award, The Salutatorian Award and the Citizenship Award. The winners were Akhi Uddin, a fourth-grader, Ja’ Kya Pittman, a fifth-grader, Keziah Avent, a fifth-grader, and Kaelyn Rodriguez, a second-grader respectively. Exuberance filled the room on the announcements of each winner. When they came on stage to receive their massive trophies and for their parents joining them to accept their monetary gifts of various denominations, the students’ elations knew no bounds

Furthermore, Former Principal Elizabeth Jenkins was invited back to pick up the Moore Family’s Leadership Award this year. It consisted of a beautiful silver and gold metal cup mounted on a dark wooden base. She was thrilled to be back at Baskerville and even more so to receive her well deserved Award. Her efforts to elevate the levels of proficiency and professionalism at Baskerville did not go unnoticed. We wish her well as she continues her work as principal of Jones Elementary School in Wilson.

As the ceremony approached its end, Tillery came back to the rostrum to give some final words of wisdom to the fifth-grade class. He expressed his confidence that the education they received at Baskerville would equip them to withstand the rigorous challenges of middle school and to sustain them as they cope with the caprices and vicissitudes of daily living. He wished them well, gave a few logistical instructions to parents who wished to check their children out of school, and made mention of the beautiful array of foods spread on connected tables in the back of the room ready for consumption by students first, then adults. After inviting all of the Moore Family Awards winners and their family members to return to the front of the auditorium for a photo shoot, this phenomenal celebration concluded with the expectancy of another great one next year.

“We are always happy to see kids grow, develop, succeed, and do their very best in school. It’s my contention that kids like plaques, but they are absolutely crazy about trophies; and to them the bigger the better,” said James Moore. “In our endeavor, the large trophies create lots of excitement and cause students to make definite commitments to win them. Self discipline is a major result in their pursuit of excellence and in their quest to be rewarded with our tangible expressions of success — Moore Family Awards.”

The Moore Family challenges others in the Rocky Mount community who have attained a certain level of achievement as well as others of modest means to follow our example by rewarding Rocky Mount’s youth in their pursuit of academic excellence and good citizenship. Rewarding exceptional students in such a magnificent fashion is one of the most salient ways that the Moore family has chosen to fulfil its obligation to give something marvelous back to the Rocky Mount community to help to make it a much better place for those who presently reside there.

As a rule, successful people should want to make an indelible impact on the society in which they were reared. The Moore family chooses to focus on Rocky Mount’s youth because it’s best to teach them the right way early, during their formative years while they are receptive to guidance and positive instruction. That way they will have more years to be outstanding exemplars to others whom they meet who were not so fortunate to receive such invaluable precepts.

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