A RED-CARPET WELCOME!

By SARALYN NORKUS Staff Writer
Posted 8/11/17

When Cleveland Middle School welcomed students back for the first full day of school earlier this week, they literally rolled out the red carpet.

It may have been early and may have signified …

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A RED-CARPET WELCOME!

Posted

When Cleveland Middle School welcomed students back for the first full day of school earlier this week, they literally rolled out the red carpet.

It may have been early and may have signified to the students that yes, summer is officially over, but there were more smiles than frowns as they strolled along the red carpet to music, confetti and cheers from decked-out teachers.

“The best part of the morning was seeing the smiles on the faces of the students,” declared CMS Principal Dr. Leneda Laing.

“They were surprised and then so excited to see their teachers dancing and having fun,” Laing said.

The red carpet welcome marked the first one for the middle school, and was made a reality thanks to a partnership with 100 Black Men of Bradley County Inc.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done this with Cleveland Middle School and 100 Black Men all together,” said 100 Black Men Inc. President Jonathan Porter.

“The 100 has been involved with doing this before, mainly in Atlanta. It has transcended throughout the years, and other people have seen it and other schools have done it, so we decided to get involved and do it as well this year.”

Having seen video of a red carpet welcome at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Assistant Principal Prisavia Croft and Porter got to work organizing one for the some 1,300 CMS students.

“It was a success and looked like it was an enjoyable moment — hopefully we’ll be able to do this more often,” Porter commented.

Successful might be an understatement, as the red carpet welcome was even enjoyed by middle school parents as they dropped off their children. According to Laing, positive feedback has been pouring in, and in an email sent to the school, one parent was especially appreciative of the event.

“It's refreshing and encouraging to see the beginning of a new school year as a celebration instead of a harsh end to summer. This truly brightened my day and I'm sure this approach eases the anxiety of starting a new year and encourages kids to be excited about getting back in the classroom,” the email stated.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your efforts to ensure a happy, successful and productive school year do not go unnoticed,” the email continued. ”Please know how much I appreciate you all. I'm proud that my kids are part of a school system that is creating a culture of excitement and a love for learning.”

Director of Schools Dr. Russell Dyer, who made his round throughout the district, was equally impressed with the school system’s first full day as a whole.

“Cleveland City Schools had a great first full day of school on Tuesday,” Dyer stated.

“Teachers were teaching and students were engaged in the learning process. It was great to see all back at school, and I look forward to a great year.”

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saralyn.norkus@cleveland

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