Unique program working at The Hive

Published 4:05 pm Monday, October 13, 2008

WINDSOR – One of their own returned to talk about helping.

During the regular meeting of the Bertie County Board of Education on October 6, James Bell appeared before the board to update them on a program that is part of the school district.

Bell, a graduate of Bertie High School, was lured to The Hive in Windsor because he wanted to give back to the community where he was born and received his education. He has begun work at The Hive working with students who have been placed there because of their need for an alternative education setting.

“We are trying to teach these young men what we are calling ‘Man Tools’,” Bell said. “We are teaching them everything from a simple handshake to resume building and interview skills.”

Bell said he meets twice a day with the young men in the program and talks to them in small groups.

Each day the young men make a verbal pledge to spend the day doing their best and treating each other with respect. As part of that process, the young men address each other by Mr. and their last name, which Bell said fosters a sense of esteem.

Bell is also working with an after-school group, made up mainly of the young men in the alternative education program, called Wise Guys. That program is part of a $57,500 grant received by the Hive to teach the students leadership, goal-setting and life-planning.

Bell then introduced Marcus Gillam and Tim Turner who talked about the program and why they believed it was important.

“Each characteristic helps the structure of The Hive,” Turner said.

The two said they were taught character, fairness, citizenship, trustworthiness and respectfulness, all of which were aiding their education.

After the presentation, Bertie County Board of Education Chairman Rickey Freeman expressed his appreciation to Bell, Hive Director Vivian Saunders and the young men who came to the meeting to give the presentation.

“We are always interested in knowing what is going on,” Freeman said. “It is nice to have the students come and tell us themselves.”

School board member Emma Johnson said she had spent time at The Hive and she was excited about what was going on there. She said she hoped additional presentations to the board would be forthcoming.

In other business, the board:

approved the 2008-2009 Budget Resolution;

heard comments from each board member regarding the status of the school district; and

held a closed session to discuss personnel matters and consult with the School Board Attorney.