PILLOWTalk a wild success among young area girls

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 30, 2003

The first &uot;Make A Difference Day&uot; event ever held in Selma took place from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Payne Elementary School Cafeteria.

Selmian Cindy Duck, organizer and planner of the event which involved 50 girls grades K-2 and a group of adult volunteers, said she was highly pleased with the outcome. The name of the event was &uot;Project PILLOW Talk,&uot; with pillow standing for &uot;Positively Influencing Little Ladies On Womanhood.&uot;

Duck said she had been wanting to do such a project for Make a Difference Day for several years and finally sprung into a planning mode about two months ago. Now she hopes that it can become an annual event.

The event received the blessing of Payne Principal Arthur Capers and the school administration. It consisted of a series of events including puppetry, music and other &uot;wholesome activities.&uot;

The idea of national Make A Difference Day, also known as a national &uot;Day of Doing Good,&uot; is to involve as many people around the United States as possible doing something for someone else. It is sponsored by USA Weekend magazine in partnership with the Points of Light Foundation founded by former President George H.W. Bush.

The event was

officially registered with the national organization, and information submitted to &uot;(Paul) Newman’s Own&uot; foundation for a $10,000 grant for the applicant’s favorite charity. Duck said that if &uot;Project PILLOW Talk&uot; should win, the money will go to the Payne school library. A major emphasis of the event was instilling a love of reading, and the Miss Junie B. Jones series was featured during the afternoon.

Duck, a former juvenile officer, emphasized the importance of providing positive role models for young children. Her program involved such things as a make-believe tea party at a table with &uot;silver&uot; and &uot;china,&uot; pillow-talk time on a make-believe bed with pillows that each girl could decorate, and the gift of a card signed by one of five college volunteers, including her daughter Casey, 18, a student at Troy State. Each of the five college women will be a big sister for a year to 10 girls who attended the party.

Duck paid for many of the materials used during the afternoon, including the pillows. She went first to the Selma Wal-Mart Super Center and found just what she was looking for, but not as many as she needed &045; and they were on closeout, she said. She then went to the Wal-Marts in Montgomery and Troy and persuaded the managers to discount the same pillows. She ended up with a couple more than 50.

Adult volunteers assisting Duck included Kristen Barfield, Brenda Batchelor, Jennifer Batchelor, Emily Bedgood and Morgan Grimes.