Nancy Carr enjoyed sharing a colorful page-turner while teaching lessons about important character traits.
Along with other members of the Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club, Carr visited schools throughout Sampson County in February and several days in March, to read “Andy & Elmer’s Apple Dumpling Adventure.” It’s a part of the organization’s literacy and character initiative for second-grade students. With the literacy program now in its second year, the Clinton-Sampson Rotary is continuing success in classrooms in the Clinton and Sampson County school systems.
“The kids were really receptive to the Rotarians and the whole idea behind the story,” said Carr, past president and chair of the literacy project.
The purpose of the literacy effort is focused on a story developed by the Rotary Club of Fairborn, Ohio. It has been taught nationwide and the local club was the first in North Carolina’s southeastern region to present it last year.
“We really appreciate the support of the teachers for allowing us to go into the classroom and take up valuable classroom time,” Carr said about the 50-minute lessons.
During the story, a boy developed an idea to make dumplings after an apple from a neighbor’s tree hit him on the head. Later the Rotary’s Four-Way Test comes into play and the character does the right thing while being guided by his conscience. Written by Chicago Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932, the Four-Way Test asks four questions: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
“It gives you a guideline, a morale compass on how to conduct yourself,” Carr said about the Four-Way Test. “We really stress that and it’s been received very well.”
By making good decisions, Andy and his neighbor turn the idea into a business with help along the way. Carr said showing goodwill, was a major part of the program.
“It’s good to hear the examples they came up with and how you’re being a good benefit and showing goodwill,” Carr said.
During the visit, one of the activity’s included making an “honesty pie” for themselves. Each letter in the word “Honesty” stood for something different. In addition to promoting good ethics and character traits, the program also developed lessons on business, economics and profits.
“That’s been a lot of fun for them and the teachers told us that the lesson plans just flowed right into the curriculum that they had for second grade,” Carr said.
Carr and members of Rotary will continue the effort in 2017 to help a new group of second-graders.
“The students are like little sponges,” she said about the students soaking up knowledge. “They were wonderful to work with and so creative. It just kind of re-instills your faith that America is going to be OK because these are coming through. They’re bright, innovative and inquisitive.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.