What’s Working: Hardy Middle School

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) –   Becoming a published author is satisfying at any age.

Some Hardy Middle School 6th graders recently had their work compiled in a hardback book called “I Can Imagine”.

Just before school let out for the summer, students, families, and mentors from the community, filled the auditorium at Hardy Middle School.

In the center of it all, a book, called “I Can Imagine”.

On its pages, young men telling their own stories, in their own words.

Zion Walls is one of the authors.

He says, “I mean it’s amazing. Like I can just go to my classmates and be like, here, I wrote a book.”

Vertis Holmes is the principal at Hardy Middle. He proudly proclaims, “We have 10 published authors from the A-Team. These A-Team Ambassadors, they’ve worked hard along with the A-Team Mentors to build leadership, learn different academic skills and I’m very proud of them today.”

Zion and the other boys attended weekly mentoring sessions on cultural and life skills.

The mentors, who are successful people in the community, got plenty out of it as well.

Edward Grace is the Vice President of Sales for Life Support. He is also a Hardy graduate.

He says, “We thought we were coming over here to teach the kids about leadership, community service and things of that nature, but we ended up learning a little more from them than we actually put in them. You know, it’s been a blast.”

And the lessons learned won’t soon be forgotten.

Zion looks into the future and says, “When I have my children like they will all remind them of the great choices I made when I was young.”

Mentor Edward Grace concludes, “I am extremely proud of to see these kids. Where they were when we first started this program this year, and to watch them all blossom, you know, how many 12-year-olds can say they are published, authors?”

For starters all the young people on this stage.

Other middle schools taking part in the “I Can Imagine” initiative include Huey Porter, Nichols, Powell, and Blackburn Middle Schools.

In all, 60 local boys have become published authors through this year’s program.

More than 250 young men have been mentored through the program over the last four years.



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