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Cook Elementary Starts Mentorship Program with WSSU

BandFebruary 3, 2023 – Cook Literacy Model School and Winston-Salem State University kicked off a new mentorship partner program with a pep rally on Thursday morning.

The atmosphere was electric yesterday at the elementary school. WSSU’s marching band and cheerleaders led a raucous performance, and a crowd of fourth and fifth graders responded with a demonstration of their Harambee routines. Everybody was thrilled to be getting started with a partnership that promises to make learning more enriching and more fun for dozens of WS/FCS young scholars.

“We’re so thankful to these students for their commitment to helping our future generations, who will be sitting in their seats some day,” Superintendent Tricia McManus said.

Dr. Kim PembertonStarting next Thursday, 32 WSSU students representing degree pathways in education, biology, psychology, political science, nursing, and more will make weekly trips to Cook. They’ll each spend an hour with two to three of the fourth and fifth graders to both help them with lessons and check in with them about how things are going in school and in life. Union Baptist Church is also supporting the program by providing transportation for the college students. The program was a mainstay for WSSU students before the pandemic, and now that it’s safe to go back into schools, the university’s administrators are ecstatic about new opportunities for civic engagement.

“When our founder, Simon Green Atkins, thought about education, he pulled in students to start teaching and working within the community,” said Dr. Kim Pemberton from the WSSU Department of Education. “We’ve been at this for 130 years.”

CheerleadersDean of Students David Johnson asked the adults present at the rally how many of them had gotten to where they are in life thanks in part to the guidance of a mentor; every hand in the audience went up. Having someone with expertise and consideration to take an interest in your success can make all the difference in a student’s long-term outlook. WS/FCS is thankful to community partners like WSSU who want to give our students that advantage.

“We all need a mentor in life,” Johnson said. “I promise you that the same way it changed all of our lives to have a mentor, it’s going to change yours.”

Jake Browning
(336) 727-8213 Ext. 70545