Monongalia County Schools will recognize ten of its 2018-2019 “Hometown Heroes” during Summer Sizzler celebrations Thursday, July 19.
All county elementary schools will host Summer Sizzler programs – many featuring their schools’ designated Hometown Heroes as guest readers – 6-7 p.m. this Thursday evening. Activities will center on the elementary schools’ Free Little Libraries and each child participating will receive a free, age-appropriate book.
“We held our first Summer Sizzler last year to initiate our Free Little Libraries, which are located at every elementary school and are easily accessible,” said Deputy Superintendent Donna Talerico. “The idea is to keep our kids reading year ‘round by encouraging them to swing by the libraries, pick up a book and maybe leave behind a book they’ve finished and are willing to share. Who better to provide that encouragement than each school’s Hometown Hero?”
MCS Hometown Heroes are “ordinary people who do extraordinary things,” according to Talerico – many of which directly benefit Mon County school students.
The elementary schools’ heroes range from Brookhaven’s Susan Melenric – a retired teacher who 12 years ago founded the school’s “Kelsie’s Korner” project with Mon General Hospital – to WVU professor Jim Rye, who’s helped North Elementary establish and expand its thriving Panther Pride Garden with technical know-how and nearly $75,000 in grant funding.
Other elementary schools’ Hometown Heroes are: Cheat Lake Elementary cook Ruth Adams; Eastwood kindergarten teacher Amber Nichols; Mason-Dixon fourth grade teacher and Girls on the Run coach Jackie Hellyer; West Virginia State Police Trooper Scott Schlobohm at Mountainview; Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer Rick Colflesh at Mylan Park; volunteer Sandee Kiger at Ridgedale; at Skyview, Kevin Cain and Leslie Brooks, whose backpack program with the Kingdom Church helps feed over 2,000 county students every weekend; and Suncrest Elementary school counselor Terri Shaw.
All schools’ heroes also will be recognized on Mon County Schools Staff Appreciation Night at the Mon County Ballpark, 7:05 p.m. Aug. 6.