Sunday, August 23, 2015

Gamma Pi Gives Local Disadvantaged Youth an Early Start to School

Full house for Back To School Event 
Summer is short. It seems like just a few weeks ago that Prince George's County students were saying their goodbyes as the school year came to a close. Now the doors are opening again on Tuesday, August 25. But on Saturday, the Super Chapter helped students and parents in the Kentland Community get a head start on success in the upcoming school year with a standing room only Back To School event that included a Backpack and School Supplies Giveaway.

The Kentland Community Center was packed. All the seats were taken. Young children and parents stood along the back wall of the room, peering over each others' heads to see. They were there to receive not just the much-needed free supplies, but to take in the special messages of inspiration and aspiration that were dished out by members of Gamma Pi -- including one school principal from the chapter -- and of the other partnering organizations. Those organizations were Sisters4Sisters and a local chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

Partnering for Success

Brothers handing out the supplies 
Even though it was a backpack giveaway,. the underlying purpose was to give students in one of the most economically depressed areas of the county a running start on the school year. The program served to educate and motivate both parents and students to do their best and strive for the top this coming academic year. The emphasis was on parents and students working together for success. So many parents are not involved in their child's education. The Kentland Community is the home of Gamma Pi's Que KidzDayz program that provides fitness, health and cultural to youth from Kentland one Saturday each month.many of Saturday';s participants were from Que Kidz Dayz.

About 200 people attended today's very successful event. In addition to the backpacks, book bags and supplies, students and parents were treated to energetic and moving motivational speeches by Gamma Pi Brothers: Reggie Picket, Damian Goins and Donald Belle.

Brother Pickett brought a strong uplifting message of self-awareness and self-esteem to the students, telling them they were "very important people and you matter. You are just as important as the President of the United States. I am here today to talk to the most important people in the world and that is you.You are world-changers." Brother Pickett, a minister, related the story of being put in the lowest reading group in elementary school and being told he would become "nothing." He talked about how his other would never give up on him,"even after I messed up," and by middle school he had been moved to the Talented and Gifted program.

Gamma Pi men pose with Que Kidz Dayz youth
Brother Goins, an elementary school principal, challenged parents and students to get engaged and stay engaged throughout the school year. He had some strong advice to parents: if students are not pulling their load at school, they should feel a difference in the amenities they have access to at home. And finally, parents should realize they are failing theri children if theyhave "bigger TV's than libraries" at home. "Is the TV in your house larger than your kid's library? If you have a 50-inch screen and your son or daughter has less than 50 books at home, then who's failing?"

Bro. Belle, who is a science coordinator for the Prince George's County Schools, talked about his program as well as an upcoming camping expedition at the county's Camp Schmidt location. The Brothers managed to both excite and educate the crowd. It is clear that nobody does it like Gamma Pi.

A Full Slate of Activities

In addition to the inspirational messages, the community enjoyed a spiritual-focused magic show by The Wonder House Unlimited mother-daughter team, information about county school activities and programs, face painting for the kids and lots of hot dogs, chips and even cotton candy. It was a festive atmosphere that the children will never forget.

The highlight for many of the attendees was an abbreviated "hop show"put on by three of the most recent members to enter Omega Psi Phi through Gamma Pi: Kevin Ford, Jr., Wilbur H. Lucas III and David Jackson. During the step routines, they drew a standing ovation and attracted a few "copycats" in the audience in the process..

Once again, Gamma Pi scores a touchdown for Omega Psi Phi's legendary commitment to Scholarship! Congratulations to Brothers Orlando McDowell, Kevin Greenwood and the entire Que Kidz Dayz crew for planning an outstanding event. Check out these short video clips below.

Click on the Shutterfly link to access 24 additional photos from Bro. Raphael Terrell: Shutterfly Photos

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Bro Reggie Pickett on Having Good Self-Esteem

Bro. Damion Goins Talks About joint Parental-Student Responsibility

Carolyn White-Washington of Sisters4Sisters comments on the success
of the event and on working with Gamma Pi

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