Call Me MISTER coming to Lunenburg schools

Published 3:15 pm Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A mentor program aimed primarily at minority students is coming to Lunenburg County Public Schools.

Maurice Carter, director of Longwood University’s Call Me MISTER program, said he has connected with the Lunenburg school system.

“Hopefully, this will be the start of something great,” Carter said.

Call Me MISTER — Men Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models — is a national initiative to broaden the pool of available teachers from a more diverse background.

The program is open to all students who desire to pursue education, and, because of the low number of males who choose teaching as a profession, has undertaken the critical task of providing male role models – especially African American.

At Longwood, the perks of participation include financial assistance and receiving a new Jos. A. Bank suit every year, Carter said.

It is expected that a MISTER who completes his program of study and becomes certified to teach will assume a teaching position and teach one year for each year they received financial support from the program, noted the organization’s Longwood website.

Lunenburg County Superintendent Charles M. Berkley Jr. said told members of the school board about the organization during its November meeting, and noted that a program that encourages young men to go into education is a good thing.

“That is something we need here in Lunenburg County,” he said.

Carter said local school officials will tailor the program to benefit their students.

Carter said he will go to Lunenburg’s Central High School in a few weeks to do a presentation and pique interest in the program among male students. He will return in early January to get those interested ready for the summer institute in July.

The annual summer institute provides an overview and history of the program for new members as well as an opportunity for senior members to mentor the incoming class, the website notes.

Carter said he has been to approximately 50 school districts this year talking, recruiting and mentoring students. Students in the program are in the community mentoring and doing outreach about 300 hours per semester, he said.

“They are out there in the community working with young people in addition to earing their degree,” he said.