The group of children gathered at the Genesis Express building on Jefferson Street at 9 a.m. and several volunteers prepared them to take a short walk to the downtown area. They first turned to the American flag in the room and recited the Pledge of Allegiance, quickly followed by the “Kindness Pledge,” which is written on a large pad of paper in the main room.
“Yes, I’m ready to learn,” sang George Radford, taking a relevant line from the Barbara Mason song as the group began walking downtown.
Radford, one of Genesis Express’s cofounders, said their program covered not only reading, but math and physical education as well.
“Kids lose a lot between the end of school and the end of summer,” Radford said. “Our goal is to help them maintain or even improve on what they’ve learned.”
Radford said that LaNell Bell, Debra Jenkins, Regina Dillard and Theresa Wilson worked on the curriculum for the week, which was open to kids kindergarten age to eighth grade. Usually, the group takes a field trip somewhere out of town at the end of the week, but there wasn’t as much money available this year, Radford said. Instead, the group walked downtown to visit the Bank of Cadiz, the Janice Mason Art Museum, City Hall, the courthouse and, finally, West Cadiz Park.
The Bank of Cadiz was the first stop, where Sarah Neighborgall welcomed the children. She told them that if they open an account that that is confidential and that the bank would not share their information with anyone. She encouraged them to open a savings account and, one day, a checking account. She also said they should take as many computer classes as they can in school. On their way out, they were given complimentary pencils and other items.
Next, the kids walked over to the art museum, where museum director Paula Lisowsky talked to them about their current exhibit on art from the Bhutan. She told them that television only came to the country eight years ago and that some residents still don’t have electricity.
“It’s kind of like what the United States used to be like in what grownups call the ‘old days,’” she said.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.