Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Omega Men Help Young Boys Tie Their "First Necktie" and Teach Kids About Tennis

By Brother Donald Belle

"Tighten it like this, young man..." ...
As the school year comes to a close, the Que Kidz program is stronger than ever.  On May 31st, the Gamma Pi chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. hosted 22 kids at the Kentland Community Center.  The morning started with a nutritious breakfast and a discussion about academic achievement.  The students discussed the various activities being completed at their respective schools in preparation for the last day of school. 

The highlight of the morning was attending the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Kentland Community Center.  The new center will replace the community center currently located in the basement of the Prince George’s Ballroom.  Members of the Maryland Senate, the Maryland House of Delegates, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the Prince George’s County Council were in attendance.  Our students were recognized for their participation in the groundbreaking ceremony and received an enthusiastic round of applause from all stakeholders.

 The Que Kidz program was also highlighted for the partnership with the Kentland Community Center and commitment to the community members of the Kentland area.  Students expressed their anticipation of utilizing the many features of the new center (including a computer lab, media room, and gymnasium).  The construction of the new community center will also provide an opportunity to point out the many academic programs and careers associated with facility design, development, and management.  The students also commented on the professional attire of the panel members at the groundbreaking ceremony. 
Learning how to handle a raquet

Every man remembers when and where he first learned how to tie a necktie.  It is an essential tool for becoming a productive and respected citizen.  The students of Que Kidz received this lesson, and for many of them it was their first experience tying a tie.  The students listened intently as the brothers demonstrated tie knots such as the four-in-hand, half-Windsor, and Windsor.  Observation transitioned into application as the students practiced and tied the knots for themselves.  The students beamed with confidence as they demonstrated their new ability.  This skill will serve the students well as they endeavor to cultivate their inner character as they develop their outward appearance. 

Healthy living is always at the core of any Que Kidz session.  The physical activity for the day was “Tennis 101.”  Brothers instructed the students on fundamental tennis skills including basic racket grip, the ready position, pivoting, and the forehand stroke.  The students also completed drills to demonstrate and practice racquet/ball control, returning a serve, and sprinting.  These activities met the goal of achieving 60 minutes of active play while broadening the horizons of the students through the introduction of a new sport. 

After “Tennis 101” the students cleaned the area around the tennis courts and discussed the importance of keeping their community clean and in good condition.  Taking ownership over your environment is the first step in developing community leaders and environmental stewards.  After this discussion, the students had a chance to cook-out with the Ques as they dined on burgers/hotdogs with healthy chips and fruit.  All of the activities were successful and promoted the core concepts of cultural awareness, healthy living, academic achievement, service to the community, and etiquette training.

Photos from Brothers Kevin Greenwood, McCory King and Belle along with student participant Noriega Jones

Time for some grub!

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