The race to read
Special to the Outlook
Students who are members of the R. Frank Nims Book Club are racing to read books, and the completion of a recent book, “Jesse: The Man Who Outran Hitler,” written by Jesse Owens, earned them a trip to see the movie, “RACE.” The trip to the movies was, however, no ordinary trip. The students were driven to the movie in limousines, courtesy of Strong and Jones and Tillman Funeral Homes and treated to lunch after the movie at Earley’s Kitchen. They were greeted at the restaurant by Deputy Superintendent of Leon County Schools, Dr. Marvin K. Henderson and Florida’s K-12 Chancellor of Education, Hershel Lyons. The young men were excited and surprised to know that reading carried with it so many amenities and to know that the community supports their accomplishments.
The R. Frank Nims Book Club is an extension of the 100 Black Men Tallahassee, Inc. (BMOTA), mentoring initiative. Dr. Henderson, a member of 100 BMOTA, stated, “These are the kinds of activities that support and are a testament to our LCS mentoring agenda. We are proud of these young men and their mentors.” Mr. Robert Brantley, Nims Middle School Reading Coach and also a member of 100 BMOTA, established the book club as a place for students to enjoy reading and also receive mentoring. He coined the phrase, “mentoring through reading.” Mr. Selvin Cobb, Mr. Lawton Williams, and Atty. Chriss Walker, all members of 100 BMOTA, visit the school every Tuesday and Thursday to provide expertise, wisdom and resources during discussions of books. As was brought out in the recent book about Jesse Owens, the race to be the best he could be resulted in Jesse winning in spite of prejudice, doubt, obstacles and pure hatred; are some of the issues discussed. The book club young men did not let anything deter them from completing the book and they received an awesome reward. These are some of the life lessons the 100 BMOTA work to instill as they mentor.
Students who join the book club must sign a contract agreeing to read at least 30 minutes each night and meet for book discussions every day during their lunch periods. Most of the books chosen have themes relating to personal responsibility, self-efficacy, high expectations, community involvement, and knowledge of self and scholarly identity. The club is currently reading “Running For My Life,” by Warrick Dunn. The reward for completion of this book is a tour of Florida State University and its athletic center and lunch on campus. But, who knows, there may be an even greater reward!