Manning Junior High boys recommit to personal responsibility

by | January 12, 2019 5:00 pm

Last Updated: January 11, 2019 at 9:39 am

Monday morning brought young male students at Manning Junior High School to a second semester recommitment ceremony for the Beau Tie Club. The Club stresses personal responsibility, academic efforts and social awareness.

Begun in 2014, the club originally had nine members. Tyrone Cummings, a Math Interventionist, AVID Coordinator and Original Six Program Coordinator, serves as the club’s sponsor and chairperson.

“I knew he was the right person to put in charge,” said Manning Junior High Principal Terrie Ard. “He is the biggest mentor the kids have here.”

The Club is open school-wide, although the Club does try to draw in those in social, academic or behavioral at-risk categories. Along with learning to focus on academics, the boys are taught to be respectful and positive in the face of any situation.

“It has impacted our young gentlemen to the highest,” said Cummings. “We’ve had some big turnaround stories.”

As the Club gains popularity among the student body, students are stepping forward, asking to join and setting their own personal goals of improvements. At the end of the school year, the Club gives out the Mr. Beau Tie Award, which goes to the student who has reached his goals and shows a lot of growth.

Beginning last year, the Club began taking an end-of-year trip for students who reached the set goals. Any who pushed themselves to make it happen during the last school year was given school permission to go on a trip to Six Flags Over Georgia. This year, the boys have already stated they want to go to Universal Studios in Orlando.

With the large goal in mind, the boys strive to meet their behavioral, academic and social goals, with checkpoints along the way. To help pay for the trip, fundraisers will be held throughout the semester. In February, the Club will sell candygrams for Valentine’s Day. February will also usher in a spaghetti dinner. In March, the Club will sell donuts, followed by a carwash and a chicken dinner in April. To get more information on any fundraiser or to donate directly to the Club, contact Manning Junior High School and ask for Tyrone Cummings.

The program continues to seek mentors from the community who will participate in the program. These individuals act as role models and sounding boards for the young men.

Today the Club has 45 members, and each stood on the front sidewalk of the school listening to speaker Jabril Wilson, a graduate of Manning High School who currently attends Duke University. Wilson stated the program started after he was already at MHS, but he acted as a mentor for the junior high boys. At Duke, Wilson is studying Public Policy and African American Studies, working toward pre-law. He will pursue International Development Law.

“You should all be proud of yourselves for what you have accomplished so far,” said Wilson.

Wilson states his uncle told him to “flush” the past, because everyone makes mistakes.

“That’s what I want you to do about 2018. Flush it, because it has already passed,” said Wilson, who went on to encourage the boys to learn from the past but not to wallow in their mistakes. He stated they should use the last year as a checkpoint, taking what was useful and flushing the rest.

“No matter what happened last year, this coming year, flush it and move on. Get your mind clear for what’s ahead of you,” said Wilson. “Let this be a fresh beginning. As long as you’re trying your best, that’s all we can ask for. You are leaders and role models for those who are not out here, and you’re role models for the community.”

Ard thanked everyone who had come out to support the Club, which included Manning City officials, Manning Police Officers, parents and community members. As the brief event ended, the boys retreated to the parking lot, shouting the mantras of “I am safe! I am responsible! I am respectful! I am positive! I am a member of Manning Junior High School’s Beau Tie Club!”

To close the event, supporters lined the walkway into the building and cheered and clapped as the boys filed into the school with heads held high.

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