Rotary Club of Poplarville learns about Wildcat Way
Published 7:00 am Friday, February 17, 2017
Members of the Rotary Club of Poplarville heard presentations from Pearl River Community College faculty about ongoing community service efforts on Wednesday.
During the celebration of the chapter’s 91st anniversary, members of the service-oriented group learned about the “Wildcat Way,” and how the college’s recruitment and marketing departments are working together to instill the tenets of pride, respect, class and character to the student body.
Delana Harris, director of recruitment and marketing at PRCC, said the students have strongly taken to the concept and have played a major role in the success of the program.
In particular, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has taken on a large role in the college’s efforts to provide community service, Harris said.
Some projects are entirely organized by students, she said, including the annual Operation Christmas event, which donates toys to special needs children and provides them with an opportunity to connect with the students.
“You see those students, who don’t have a connection in terms of family giving back to the community,” she said.
As college recruitment becomes more competitive with online classes, Harris said PRCC is working to distinguish themselves from the crowd.
“What sets us apart is this feeling of family, and involvement in our community,” Harris said.
When students first come to the college, “a lot of them don’t understand community service,” Carol Williams, PRCC public relations/marketing coordinator, said.
But now, students are becoming more and more eager to help wherever they can, Williams and Harris said.
This past weekend, the baseball team helped clean up local baseball fields in preparation for their season, Williams said.
Students often approach Harris and ask her when the next group is going to read at the elementary schools, she said.
“Let us know how we can help, help spread the word. We want to be part of the surrounding community,” Harris told Rotary members.
Also during Wednesday’s Rotary meeting, the president of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, Clyde Dease, presented grants to the Picayune School District for two separate projects.
Picayune Superintendent Dean Shaw introduced South Side Elementary School gifted teacher Susan Spiers, who received a grant to take more than 80 gifted students to the National World War II museum in New Orleans.
Spiers thanked the LPRVF for donating the funds for travel, admission and other expenses so that the students could learn history in a new way.
“Even though they’re gifted, most of them live on the poverty level and don’t have exposure to these things,” Spiers said.
The LPRVF also donated a grant to Dr. Pam Thomas, director of the Picayune Early Head Start program, for use by the program.
Thomas said the grant would provide for after-hours childcare during their night child development classes at PRCC.