NBA Player, a McKinley High School Alum, Announces Foundation Partnership with Volunteers In Public Schools
- October 6, 2011
(Left to right) Jaime Thomas (Tyrus’ wife), Tyrus Thomas, Judy Bethly of Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS), Superintendent John Dilworth and Verni Howard of Hancock Bank and the VIPS Board.
On Friday, September 30, National Basketball Association (NBA) standout Tyrus Thomas announced a partnership between his The Tyrus and Jaime Thomas Foundation and Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS). Thomas’ wife, Jaime Thomas, and Thomas, who recently signed a five-year contract with the Charlotte Bobcats, have arranged for the Foundation to work with VIPS to reach out to East Baton Rouge Parish School System middle and high school students.
“VIPS is honored that Tyrus and his wife Jaime selected VIPS as a community partner. It is well known that Tyrus and Jaime both graduated from McKinley High and have worked tirelessly in the school – putting in a new gym floor and, last year, awarding 10 seniors each with $1,000 scholarships,” said Judy Bethly, VIPS executive director.
The VIPS/Thomas Foundation partnership will feature a “Let’s Talk Tour” with the Thomases visiting several area schools to listen to students talk about their school experiences. Thomas remembers the challenges and obstacles he faced while attending school and believes he can communicate honestly with students. At the end of the tours, the Thomases would like to present a summary of their talks to the school district. They also will promote VIPS’ EveryBody Reads program that matches Reading Friend volunteers with recommended first- , second- and third-grade students who read below grade level. Last year, EveryBody Reads served more than 900 struggling readers.
This past summer, Thomas was awarded a Jefferson Award, a Nobel Prize for community and public service as the "outstanding athlete as a newcomer in service and philanthropy." Two years ago, Thomas started CATCH, which stands for Caring and Actively Teaching Children Hope. The outreach program targets at-risk students who are about to enter ninth grade. After a summer filled with a variety of programs, CATCH offers tutoring during the school year -- help that continues until the students graduate from high school. VIPS is an independent non-profit that works to foster student success and build support for public education.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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