Alpha Gamma President Mali Mentor called the meeting to order in Food & Friends on Saturday, Apr. 17, for an interesting slide presentation and information about elementary school education in Africa. The theme of the meeting was “Global Awareness.” Phillip Anderson, principal of Marlinton Elementary School, was the guest speaker. He shared his teaching experiences in a Christian missionary school in Zambia, Africa, accompanied with a slide presentation of the school’s history, curriculum, activities, facilities, and surrounding environs. He has gone to Zambia six times where his aunt teaches and whose primary focus is on homeless children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. His stay has been from two weeks to six weeks. He told us that elementary children get a free education up to the seventh grade. After that, they are tested before they go to the next grade and they have to pay for their education. Anderson said it was a joy to teach the children because they were like sponges. We saw some handmade toys by the children who have to be very resourceful because of their limited resources, old wire, bottle caps, etc. We also saw some clothing. The children were delighted to receive some used soccer uniforms. Anderson completed his presentation by answering many questions.
The roll call was by Donna Jackson, secretary, who asked us, “What Is Your Dream Destination?” Some of the answers were Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Ireland, the Bahamas and more. One member said she was going to Caldwell tomorrow. She was jesting of course. Another said she wanted to go to Hawaii, but she didn’t fly. The “Fun Fund” was collected with a donation of 10 cents for every foreign-made item in our homes with a limit of $5.
There were several items of new and old business-the minutes by Donna Jackson, the treasurer’s report by Nancy Bostic, some updates on members, the signing of a get-well card, some discussion about scholarships for Greenbrier, Monroe and Pocahontas county students, and the Apr. 24 conference in Bridgeport. Members voted on six teachers who will be initiated as members in the fall.
The Alpha Gamma fiscal year will be completed by a picnic on July 16, hosted by Katy Montgomery. Gifts for new teachers will be taken to the picnic for distribution in the fall. The next business meeting will be in September under the direction of Barbara Beard, the new president.
Karen Friel won a beautiful table runner made by Nancy Bostic, Katy Montgomery won the basket raffle and Lois McCutchen won the door prize. The meeting was adjourned by Mali Mentor.