Young men impress Edgewood teachers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 12, 2004

Though it was cold and dreary outside Edgewood Elementary School on Wednesday, inside the cafeteria there was plenty of love and warmth to go around.

As a special surprise, fifth-grade teacher Marques Stewart and his group of Men in Motion held a Valentine’s Day lunch for all the teachers and staff members at Edgewood.

Young boys clad in white shirts and red ties escorted teachers to the cafeteria, where they were treated to a

meal served on a red-and-white decorated table.

The boys also had jazz music playing in the background and kept an eye out on their fellow students as the teachers enjoyed their meal.

The surprise lunch was catered by Anita Keith, whose grandson Trey Clay is a fourth-grader at the school.

Stewart said he and the students involved in Men in Motion began planning the Valentine lunch three weeks ago.

“We wanted to do something special for the teachers to brighten their day,” Stewart said. “This was unexpected for them.”

It was also something the teachers said they needed. This afternoon, many of them attended the funeral of former Edgewood principal Donald Raybon.

“This really helped to lighten the mood,” said second-grade teacher Toya Henry. “Mr. Stewart is wonderful.”

Even the boys involved in the surprise lunch said they enjoyed hosting this special event.

“The best part about being in Men in Motion is doing good for the teachers and staff,” said Clay.

Men in Motion is a program created by Stewart as way teach young boys about being good role models.

“It originally started for boys in fourth- and fifth-grade, but then it just grew to involve boys in all the other grades,” Stewart said.

The program rewards boys for good behavior and grades by taking them on outings or just letting them eat pizza and play Playstation games.

Every Friday, the boys of Men in Motion get to wear button-down shirts and ties to school, something Stewart says they look forward to every week.

As the only male teacher at Edgewood, Stewart said he feels good about being able to set an example for his students.

“I love my job,” Stewart said. “I enjoy every minute of it.”

The other teachers said they also enjoyed a day of pampering.