Sunday, October 27, 2013

Project ENRICH Opens New Academic Year With a Renewed Vision

There is a timing play in football called the "delay," where the ball is given to the running back after just a couple seconds of "delay" in order to throw off the defense. What results when the play works correctly is a big unexpected gain due to that few seconds of delay which is just enough to buy more time for the offense to throw an extra "block," and for the defense to miscalculate based on the surprise delay. Gamma Pi's Project ENRICH unfolded very much like that football play when it opened to a slightly delayed schedule for the year on Saturday, October 26. It may be a little late on the hand-off, but the gain could be big.

Students give introductions during Saturday's program 
Despite being delayed a few weeks by unexpected administrative developments beyond its control, the program is looking to make bigger strides even in this slightly shortened year, hoping to use the brief period of delay to enhance its offerings for the 2013-14 academic year. Some great things are in the plans for this year, according to Director Willie Hines, including a special presentation on financial aid that will be given to parents and students by the experts at the U.S. Department of Education in December and an appearance in January by junior Foreign Service officers who will share information about preparing for careers in the diplomatic corps.

Brother Willie Hines (l), Project ENRICH Director, with students
About 100 parents and  students joined Gamma Pi Brothers at Gaywood Elementary School in Seabrook for the Opening Program. . Project ENRICH used the opportunity to welcome a number of new freshmen and remind the seniors who have been a part of Project ENRICH since ninth grade that their future is just on the horizon.

Much of the Opening program was interactive as the focus was on the students, who took to the stage by class and introduced themselves to the audience. Part of that exercise Saturday went to the heart of what Project ENRICH does -- it helps students gain confidence in themselves and learn to communicate more forthrightly by "speaking up" and thinking on their feet.  Human resources experts have identified communication skills as among the most critical for success in the workplace. Parents were also introduced to Project ENRICH instructors for 2013-14: brothers Lucien Cox (freshmen), Reginald Thomas(sophomores), Marc Ellington (juniors) and Don Norwood (seniors).

Basileus Gordon Everett (r) and Brother Thad White (l) in audience
While the opening program was held at Gaywood, Project ENRICH is planning to return to its traditional environment, Bowie State University, in December for the Department of Education seminar. A field trip to Microsoft corporate headquarters is planned for November.

Gaywood's principal, Brother Damien Goins, has been named Educator of the Year for Gamma Pi and will be honored at the chapter's Achievement Week program on November 23.

The portion of the program featuring the students was broadcast live on Gamma Pi's Ustream channel and is available for viewing. Below is a clip from Brother Hines after Saturday's Opening Program. Additional photos can be found by visiting the Project ENRICH Facebook page.