The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

October 31, 2013

South Edgecombe school community participate in 5K Walk for Unity


TARBORO — A number of teachers, parents, and students from South Edgecombe Middle School united to participate in a walk that would benefit the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf (ENCSD). More than 300 people participated in the 5K Walk, raising over $11,000 for ENCSD, located in Wilson.

Students in Robin Griffin’s seventh-grade language arts class were given the opportunity to contribute as a community outreach project.  “When (the students) asked their parents about going, they said it was a great idea and they wanted to participate, as well!” exclaimed Griffin.  “I'm so proud of the kids for coming out.”

South Edgecombe Assistant Principal Blake Tucker chaired the event.  “The walk was organized to raise money for scholarships,” he said..  “We are proud to announce that every senior will get a $1,000 scholarship.  What a great way to unite both the hearing and deaf communities.”

Seventh-grade student Mary Taylor was ecstatic about seeing translating “up close.”  “I have seen a show that had translators, but this time I was able to see this communication for myself,” said Taylor.  “This was also my first big fundraiser and I was glad to be able to help.”

“I thought it would be pretty fun to participate and I’m so glad I did,” eighth-grader Kenny Harrell said. “Although it wasn’t a race, I was one of the first 10 to complete the three miles.”

Tameka Johnson, teacher at South Edgecombe, added that she was not as lucky to finish early.  “I finished with an elderly lady, but at least we finished strong,” Johnson chuckled.

Johnson was pleased at the advantage for the students to participate.  “This was an opportunity for our students to walk and mingle among children of different disabilities and ages,” she said. “I’ve even been motivated to participate in the Heart Walk in Edgecombe County.”

Tucker says that this was the first ever 5K Walk for ENCSD.  “This will certainly be an annual event.  I am amazed at how supportive the Edgecombe community was by becoming involved to help a neighboring community.”

Griffin explained that students like those she teaches at South Edgecombe make her job worthwhile.  “They got up early on a Saturday morning to walk to benefit other school children they had never met. Their parents coming along for the walk was just icing on the cake.”

ENCSD serves North Carolina students in 53 counties. Some of the funds from the walk will help with the establishment of the Athletic Hall of Fame at the school and one of this year's scholarships will go to a high school senior from Tarboro.