Every Tuesday, the Jason Taylor Foundation dedicates the day to spotlighting one of our partners, volunteers, or celebrity friends that have supported our tireless efforts toward building a brighter future for the youth of the South Florida community.
This week, we would like to recognize Ms. Althea Gibbons, one of our Reading Room Learning Center teachers at New Renaissance Middle School in Miramar, Florida.
This school year marks Ms. Gibbons’ ninth-year with the Jason Taylor Foundation and her first full year with the Learning Center at New Renaissance Middle School, which began as a pilot program during the second half of last school year. Ms. Gibbons has a strong passion for teaching and helping students. She teaches special needs students, ranging from sixth to eighth grade, during the day at New Renaissance Middle School and then dedicates her time after school hours each day to help teach the students in the Learning Center from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday each week.
Ms. Gibbons has been a Jason Taylor Reading Room teacher since the program began in 2007, and worked specifically with the eight grade and high school students until taking the reigns at the Learning Center mid way through last school year, where she now instructs 6th-8th grade students. Her contributions to the program are seemingly endless and felt each day as she was instrumental in assisting JTF Educational Director, Kevin Sawyer, to help develop the curriculum and academic focus calendar that is utilized to this day.
One of the benefits of having such longevity with the Jason Taylor Foundation for Ms. Gibbons is the enjoyment she receives when former students return to visit over the years. She stated that it is fun to watch the children grow up into young adults and that many of her former students come back to volunteer while they are in high school.
The program has a rotating list of school related activities ranging from math, to vocabulary, to novel study. Currently, the children have been reading the Bluford Series of novels for their novel study sessions and Ms. Gibbons stated that the children cannot get enough of the books. One student actually asked her father to wait in the parking lot for an extra thirty-minutes to allow her to finish the book before returning home.
The Jason Taylor Foundation would like to thank Ms. Gibbons for all of her hard work and dedication to our organization and the young people we serve. She helps tailor her lesson plans in a way that the children enjoy learning and improve their literacy skills each and every year.