High Praise from Washington Leader

Congressional leader James Clyburn watched a dance contest, participated in “Heys and Praise” and joined a handshake tutorial on a visit to Memminger Elementary School last week. He told the kids: “I wish I had WINGS when I was growing up!”

Influential House Leader Praises WINGS

Congressman Clyburn, a longtime supporter of WINGS, visited the program on Jan. 8, arriving just in time to see a “dance-off” between WINGSLeaders and the kids.

He watched with great interest the scheduled activity on handshakes. Program Director Cristy McCrery instructed the kids in how to give proper handshakes when introducing themselves – look the other person in the eye, have a firm grip, say your first and last name clearly.

Congressman Clyburn told the kids that he got in trouble as a boy because his father faulted him for having an inadequate handshake.

He talked about his own belief in never giving up when striving for your goals, and offered high praise for the WINGS comprehensive social and emotional learning curriculum provided at Memminger, Chicora School of Communications and North Charleston Elementary School.

“I am so impressed with the WINGS program that I see here today. I wish I had WINGS when I was growing up,” Congressman Clyburn said.

During the weekly “Heys and Praise” session, WINGS student Tavaris Mitchell took the microphone to ask if he could offer the distinguished visitor some praise. Tavaris is a devoted student of politics and history who said he wanted to thank him for “standing up for us” during Congressman Clyburn’s fight for civil rights.

As a student at South Carolina State College in 1960, he organized the state’s first sit-in, at an Orangeburg drugstore, with six friends.

Now Congressman Clyburn is an influential figure in Washington and South Carolina who, as Majority Whip, is the third-ranking leader in the House of Representatives. Nonetheless he agreed to take time from his busy schedule to accept the kids’ challenge to learn and recite The Creed – and be videotaped by our kids. WINGS friend and supporter Michael Moloney, who pilots his own plane, offered to fly two WINGS kids to Washington for the occasion, so stay tuned for future updates!

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