ASHS’ FLY members encourage literacy

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2017


AMERICUS — On March 20, Food for Life Youth Academy (FLY) of Americus-Sumter High School visited Sumter County Primary School, Sumter County Elementary School, and Sumter County Intermediate School to read to students in 24 classrooms. FLY is a mentoring program focused on equipping young men with the skills and resources needed to become successful adults, facilitated by Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education Inc. The purpose of the field trip was to have high school students demonstrate and promote the importance of reading and literacy to the younger students. It also gave the FLY members the opportunity to be role models and to mentor others. As young members of the community, youth are assets with valuable contributions. Along with reading books, the young men of FLY shared encouraging words with younger students such as, “stay in school and graduate,” “be respectful to parents and teachers,” and “surround yourself with positive like-minded friends.”
For lunch, FLY enjoyed a delicious meal at local hometown favorite restaurant, Gladys’ Kitchen, where they were joined by local business owners and community leaders. The guests included Lee Pinnell, owner/operator of family business Clinic Drug Store; Eshonda Blue and Jessica Wright, co-owners of Innovative Senior Solutions; Ben Hicks, Georgia Southwestern State University Men’s Head Basketball Coach; and Carolyn Wright, Sumter Chamber of Commerce representative. Among the lunch and learn conversation, topics included:entrepreneurship, good business practices, economic development, retaining youth talent in Sumter County, overcoming personal obstacles, and following your passion as it will lead to success and happiness.
Community leaders impressed on the young men that they are able to achieve their dreams as long as they are persistent in the pursuit of success, understanding that the only difference between a winner and a failure, is that the winner continues to get back up after being knocked down. The local leaders left the lunch feeling confident that the future of the community is in good hands as the young men demonstrated an eagerness to plan and prepare for a successful future. The young men of FLY greatly appreciated the encouraging words and support from community members.