By Shanderia K. Posey
Lester Elementary School in Jackson held its Fifth-grade Academic, Behavior and Course Performance Awards Program at 9 a.m. May 23, at New Jerusalem Church, 168 Colonial Dr. in south Jackson. The motto of the class was “Make A Change.”
The Mississippi Link Publisher Jackie Hampton was the guest speaker for the event.
Some 32 students made up Lester’s fifth-grade class. Three of those students were recognized for having A/B honors. They were Olivia Johnson, Kennia Braggs and J’Qyvion Jones.
On the program students J’niya Jones and J’Qyvion Jones served as narrators. David Evans led the Pledge of Allegiance. Olivia Johnson offered a welcome to parents, teachers and guests. Coreyun Patterson offered reflections. Kennia Braggs recited a poem.
During her address to the students, Hampton spoke on the topic, “Choose Carefully Where You Want to Go.” She also reminded the students of how proud their family members were of their accomplishments. She jokingly told the students the day was an opportune time to ask for a special present from their parents.
Hampton offered five main tips for the students to think about doing once they left Lester Elementary.
Those tips were to decide what kind of student you want to be upon entering middle school, believe in yourself, develop your talents, choose your friends wisely and learn from your mistakes.
“My advice to you is to strive to be an A or B student,” said Hampton. “Because if you strive to be a C student – just average – guess what happens when you fall short … you’ll risk failing.”
Hampton advised the students to make reading a part of their summer pasttime by visiting a local library and checking out books.
For her second tip, Hampton told the students that it’s great for parents and friends to believe in their ability to achieve, but it’s even more important for students to believe in themselves.
“No matter how difficult things may seem at times, you must always, always, always believe in yourself,” Hampton said.
As for her third tip, Hampton told the fifth graders, “You are all very special individuals with natural abilities to do something well. In other words, you each have God-given talents.” She reminded them to explore those talents in middle school.
As for choosing friends wisely, Hampton explained to the students the phrase “birds of a feather flock together.” She told them that hanging around friends who always get into trouble will make others think “you are just like them, so it’s important to associate with people who want to do the right thing. Choose those people as your friends.”
Hampton also reminded students that everyone makes mistakes every now and then. When that happens she said, “Learn from that experience and do your very best not to make that mistake again.”