08/07/08 — Pep rally aims to motivate students

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Pep rally aims to motivate students

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 7, 2008 1:59 PM

A "back-to-school rally" for parents and students will be held tonight from 6-9 p.m. in the fellowship hall of St. Mark Church of Christ.

Sponsored by the Stop the Funeral Initiative, it is the second year for the event. Last year's drew more than 300 youth and their parents, said one organizer.

The "Back to School, Stay in School" program is designed to convey the importance of an education, said Francine Smith, administrative consultant for Stop the Funeral.

In addition to motivational speakers and workshops for all ages, there will be entertainment, a pep rally and a giveaway of school supplies, she said.

Among the speakers will be Tarrick Cox, office of professional development and student outreach at East Carolina University; Rovonda Freeman, minority health coordinator with Wayne County Health Department; Tisha Deans-Isler and Trammonnieo Cooper, both of Wayne County Public Schools; Dr. Ruby Bell, Wayne County Public Schools' director of middle grades education; and Angela Dunston, education and law project director, N.C. Justice Center.

Students in grades K through 12, along with parents and guardians, are encouraged to attend, Ms. Smith said.

"This is a national program, so this will be going on all over the country, although not necessarily on the same day," she explained. "All over the country, there are groups and churches that have taken this model and are doing this for our kids as they prepare to go back to school.

"It's important for us not to just send our kids back to school but that they're prepared."