Selma City School Board member Dr. Udo Ufomadu takes part in “Dedication Day of Reading” program at School of Discovery Thursday. -- Katie Wood

Board member takes part in ‘Day of Reading’

Published 10:22pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

Selma City School Board member Dr. Udo Ufomadu visited the School of Discovery Genesis Center Thursday as part of the school’s “Dedication Day of Reading” program.

Ufomadu read to Jacqueline Lucy’s sixth grade language arts class and held an interactive classroom discussion with the students about how adults like those on the school board, and teachers and staff can help students navigate the pitfalls of maturity.

The students were able to have open discussions about gang violence and bullying — topics that are real world issues they were all familiar with.

Nearly 20 young hands shot up when their teacher, Ms. Lucy asked, “What do we know about gang violence?”

“It’s sad that kids like this already know about colors of gangs, and it just goes on. At this age you really don’t expect it, but I believe it’s possible to prevent certain things,” Ufomadu said. “As a board member, this is very enriching to come here and talk to them directly.”

Ufomadu was just one of several board members who are participating in the program, and he said it was incredibly important for him to participate.

“It’s very important, because school board members, we don’t have this opportunity to interact with these kids, so most times the decisions we make are recommendations from the superintendent. But if you come out here and interact with the teachers and hear from the kids,” Ufomadu said, a better understanding of the issues can be reached.

Ufomadu read from one of the 18 Blueford series books the School of Discovery recently dedicated to Selma Board of Education in honor of their service to real-world problems students face today. Each of the novels in the Blueford series deals with struggles of today’s 5th through 10th graders — from bullying to gang and domestic violence.

School of Discovery’s Crystal Boykin said the books could be used as a preventive type measure, for students going through similar situations.

“What we want you to get out of this whole series is whenever there is a problem for you, something either at home or school that’s going on please take time to talk to your teacher, counselor or your principal. You keep going until you get help, you never give up on it,” Boykin told the students. “That’s what we ultimately what you to get from this. Yes, we have hip hop stars and glitz and glamour [to read about], but we also have real life issues that we go through every day, and we want you to come to us and talk about that.”

Boykin said that even if the students haven’t experienced the things in the books themselves, they might have a friend at school that is.

Editor's Picks