Rotary helps LMS students make the right CHOICES

Rotary Club member Boo LeBlanc talks to a group of eighth grade students at Lowery Middle School last week about the CHOICES program.

The best way to lead is by example and it proves true. When the Rotary Club of Donaldsonville went to Lowery Middle School last week to talk to the eighth grade classes about finishing high school, the students got the memo.

Christon Williams said he definitely got the message the club pressed when it mentioned the drop out rates in high school. He said he saw it has no benefit.

“Staying in school is very important for my future,” Williams said who wants to become a music composer. “I can determine my future now for 25 years later.”

The Rotary Club brought a program called CHOICES to the school that is sponsored by Taco Bell and the club brought in real life situations to teach the students the importance of an education.

“The program is excellent. It’s very relevant for the children, very engaging – they get involved in it – and thought provoking,” LMS Guidance Counselor Cynthia Isaac-Romar said. “It helps them to think about their future and how education and their life goals work hand-in-hand.”

District Governor Mark LaCour brought the program to Donaldsonville’s club in February. Now that the club has implemented the program, both the teachers and students believe it was worth the while. LMS music teacher Timothy Carter said this was the most attentive he’s seen his students in a program all year.

“The thing that I liked about it, it may have gotten a lot of them to really think seriously about their future,” Carter said. “Especially when they [the club] gave them the fake money and started talking about bills and they [the students] saw that that wasn’t any money, working at McDonalds may not be enough for me to do the stuff that I think I want to do.”

Carter said anything we can do, whether a teacher or someone in the community, to get someone to be reflective is a good thing. He said he could see the wheels turning in their heads.

“It was very refreshing to see some of these guys sincerely be engaged,” Carter said. “I can tell when they are clowning and I can tell when they are serious and that was definitely good. It’s a credit to the program.”

Carter also said it would be good to give as many kids possible an opportunity to be “exposed.”

“Eighth grade is a critical age group of kids. They are starting to formulate their personal identities. Some are starting to have outlooks on life.”

Carter added: “Overall the community is going to be greatly improved whether they go to high school or not, they are going to be better citizens because they are actively pursuing some progressive and positive stations in life. That’s a good thing.”