Students receive warm welcome at school

Students receive warm welcome at school
August 31
05:12 2017

This week students across the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System made their way back to the classroom for another year of learning. While the first day of school is an exciting time for all students, not many were welcomed back like the students at Ashley Academy for Cultural & Global Studies.

As students arrived on Monday August 28, they were greeted with high fives, handshakes and words of encouragement from nearly 100 locals from various walks of life. From college students to clergy, the group of men and women who lined the walkway of the school that morning was determined to put a smile on the faces of the students to start their day and that’s exactly what they did. 

After making his way through burrows of police officers, college students, educators, clergy, and other stakeholders in the community tunnel, third grader Quentin Edwards said having such a warm welcome got him pumped to start the day. 

“I thought it was cool,” Edwards smiled.

The welcome tunnel is the brainchild of Rev. Lamonte Williams and the Triad Mentoring Coalition, a local faith based organization. Williams held the event at Ashley for the first-time last year and it seems to have caught on across the area. This year several schools put their own spin on the tunnel but there’s nothing like the original. 

“The message is getting out. There are truly more people interested in doing community and volunteer work,” said Williams. “It makes me feel good personally but I saw the smile on the kids’ faces so I know it made them feel good. I’m speaking for them when I say thank you.”

This year the Triad Mentoring Coalition partnered with Black Star Project to bring the Million Father March to the city. Since 2014 the Million Father March has partnered African American males with mentees at schools across the country. Williams said the partnership will allow students to connect with positive role models right here in the community all year long. Each month during the school year they plan to host a different event to keep students excited about learning and on the path to success.

“Today is a benchmark for moving forward. If you set the bar high it can only go higher from there. Many of these young people come from different backgrounds and one of the best messages we can send to them is you’re not alone.” Williams said.

“We are not a one-shot wonder this is just the beginning. Today we’re taking that initial leap but we are committed to the long haul.”

While the students were excited to receive such a warm welcome on the first day, principal Scarlet Linville seemed to be just as excited. When asked how it felt to have so much support from the community, Linville said getting the students excited on the first day of school has the potential to help push them through the entire school year.  “First impressions count. How you start is the way you’re going to continue so this is just laying the foundation for all the great things that are going to come during the school year.” 

For more information on the Triad Mentoring Coalition and find ways to volunteer visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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