Center Named in Honor of Ron McBee

“Just imagine,” the song taken from the 15th episode of Season 2 of the children’s TV and video show, Barney & Friends performed by the Amidon-Bowen students’ choir under the direction of music teacher Para Perry for the Grand Opening of the school parent center set the tone for  the occasion. “Just imagine all of the things that we could be…” is a message of hope and a sustained beacon of determination for the parents as they shape the uses and benefits of a parent center located in the school. The Grand Opening and Dedication were held on Nov. 15, 2016.

Principal TaMikka Sykes unearthed the following apropos passage from The Amidon Plan first published in Amidon-Bowen yearbook issued during the school’s inception in 1960–61:

“The school will use every available resource to see to it that each child is in good health or capable of securing it; has someone who cares about what happens to him [sic] in school and out or school; knows the meaning of success and failure, the happiness of strenuous effort applied to difficult but generally manageable tasks, and the respect which he [sic] can win for himself but his [sic] own effort; makes progress from where he is to improved quality of behavior.

The desired end product is not a spoon-fed, protected individual but a self-disciplined personality interested in continuing his education, capable of intelligent decision making in every aspect of living, and, most importantly, governed in all his actions by the highest moral principle.”

Principal Sykes assured the parents and school community when she stated, “Our plan has not changed since Amidon opened in the fall of 1960. Today we want to acknowledge the importance of home and school working together to achieve this vision. The opening of the parent center symbolizes our openness to the community and our desire to work with families to improve academic outcomes for students in our community. We want parents to feel welcome and a part of the Amidon-Bowen. My hope is that use of the center will encourage and facilitate greater connection in our school community.”

The Edgewood/Brookland Family Support Collaborative (E/BFSC) has worked with parents, school partners including City Year, Westminster Presbyterian Church, the PTA, community volunteers, and community members to bring the center online. The center houses a laundry facility, meeting and workshop space, and children’s corner, and provides a place of comfort for parents to gather.  The E/BFSC is equally motivated to offer quality programming and parent-focused support to increase parental participation and involvement in the Amidon-Bowen school community.

Ron McBee, a member of the school and community, recognized the need and vision for the center. Ron and many other members of the community strenuously advocated for the construction of the center. In honor of his relentless efforts, the center is named in his honor.

“In creating this parent resource center, we have sought to create a warm and welcoming environment where parents feel respected and valued as key stakeholders in their child’s education,” said Lucy Rojansky, president of the Amidon-Bowen PTA. “We hope that it will be an oasis for parents with programming that will provide all of us with the tools we need to improve our lives and those of our children.” Rojansky has been a partner and collaborator, and was very instrumental in getting furniture donated to the center from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

We look forward to a fruitful school year that brings together parents in a supportive environment to encourage academic success and progress.

By: Jane English

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