Bexley parents and students took part in Capital University's 22nd annual Day of Learning honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, Jan. 21, taking a new group at the high school one step further in its quest to ensure overall student success.
Around 13 Bexley students and five Capital students joined forces earlier this month in a Leadership Development for Teens workshop, conducted by the YWCA, in preparation for the event. One day was spent in leadership training while a second day was spent planning for Bexley's participation in Capital's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Learning.
The partnership between Capital and Bexley was born out of brainstorming sessions by Bexley and the newly formed group, Success4All, during which the school reached out looking for mentors at the university. Harley Williams, Bexley's principal of secondary schools, said he and others were interested in what the university was doing to engage minority populations on campus.
The result was the Leadership Development workshop and Bexley's first-time involvement in the university's annual celebration honoring King.
"The students quickly began applying the leadership skills they learned at this retreat," Williams said, "and decided to help support the MLK Day events."
Students and parents joined Capital University at a convocation at 9 a.m. Jan. 21 with the Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, founder of Empowerment Temple, as keynote speaker.
Students and parents also planned to take part in lunch and a campus tour, along with workshops, including one focusing on academic success.
Bexley's Success4All was the brainchild of several teachers in Bexley, including Williams, who noticed there was a significant gap in minority student participation.
"We were seeing that the African-American and multiracial populations were not well-represented in a number of positive aspects of our school," Williams said.
Taking the "it takes a village" approach, he and other district representatives reached out to the local black community and focused on conversations to generate thoughts about racial barriers, putting together a response to those ideas that could bridge the gap between all students, regardless of race, religion or gender.
Since its inception, Success4All has held an awards ceremony recognizing successes among black and multiracial students, sponsored a picnic at the Jeffrey Mansion in Bexley and begun the mentoring program with Capital University.
The Success4All parent group will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 6, in the English Resource Center on the main floor of the South Cassingham Complex.