WARNER ROBINS -- For 11 years the R.E.A.D. Foundation has been providing low- to middle-income students with opportunities to be successful.
Read, Empower, Action and Determination was the idea of founder Shirlyn Granville. She saw a need for a community group to support children from ages 6-21 with the tools to learn how to make the right choices through speakers, field trips and mentoring.
During the two-week summer program, which began June 4 and ends Friday, 30 students receive training from lawyers, college professors, retired educators and government officials.
One of the key components is bringing in local professionals so they can make positive experiences for the students, Granville said.
Volunteer and recent retiree from Robins Air Force Base Starlac McGhee brought recipes and cake pops to show how students can learn to cook for themselves.
McGhee said she loves to bake and that is her outlet for balancing her professional life with her personal one.
I love to feed folks, she said.
She demonstrated to the children how to make cake pops and brought in ready-made pops to be frosted and decorated with sprinkles.
Vertris E. Lewis has volunteered every year for the program.
Her dedication to what the foundation teaches children is what drives her to continue to use her time to serve.
I want to see students achieve academically, socially and spiritually, Lewis said.
Part of that experience is exposing students to different places. Lewis said during the years, the classes have been to Texas, Atlanta and Tennessee.
Recent Houston County High School graduate Ashley Moorer has been with the program for three years. This year, she came back to volunteer for the program. She will attend the University of Alabama as a communications major.
Moorer said one of her favorite experiences at the foundation was visiting other colleges.
It is cool to see your future, she said.
Because of her ambition to attend college, she understood that taking a break for two months during the summer from any sort of academia wasnt a good idea.
Your education goes downhill, and this keeps your interest in school subjects, Moorer said.