An important of our Scholars’ education at Lester Prep is engaging with social issues. One place where this happens is in Mr. McFerren’s Service Learning Class. During their time, Mr. McFerren’s students choose an issue, dig deeper into it and then creatively bring awareness to that issue.
This year, a group of sixth graders in Mr. McFerren’s class chose to learn more about the backlog of untested rape kits in Shelby County. In order to bring awareness to the issue, these students raised money among their peers at school, which they, in turn, decided to donate to the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center.
But they didn’t stop there. Our Scholars requested a visit with Jim Strickland, Mayor of the City of Memphis, about their project and their response by collecting donations. Mayor Strickland was moved to respond by paying a visit to the group on Monday, January 30, where he met Mr. McFerren’s class in our library for a Question and Answer session, responding to questions prepared by the students themselves. Also in attendance were a group of 8th grade student leaders who are currently doing a project on rape which focuses on creating change and bringing awareness to the issue
Mayor Strickland visiting with Scholars at Lester Prep.
Scholars asked questions such as, “How long does it take to find someone after they’ve committed crime?” and more personal questions such as, “How have the recent homicides affected your life?” Mayor Strickland responded to these questions and more by sharing with Scholars some of his values and goals. He believes that, as a city, we must continue to provide opportunities for young people – from work to recreational opportunities.
Mayor Strickland and Interim Principal, Koai K. Matthews.
Mayor Strickland visits classrooms with school leaders.
“We have a great city now,” Mayor Strickland said, “and I want it to become even better. I want you to choose to live in Memphis.”
Finally, at the end of the question and answer session, two students from the class presented the donated funds to Mr. Strickland.
We’re proud of the initiative of our Scholars have taken to engage in the community and city around them. Thank you to Mayor Strickland for being a part of our mission to equip all of our students with the Wisdom and Knowledge necessary to succeed in college and to become leaders in their community.