Dyersburg Fire Department Operator Paul Braithwaite takes the time to pose for a picture with his HOSTS student. Three different firefighters come to Dyersburg Primary School each week totaling 90 minutes of mentoring time to three kindergarten students.
Special qualities and characteristics are needed to serve at the Dyersburg Fire Department. A person must have love for others, compassion, and a desire to make the world a better place. It is not easy to earn the title of "hero", especially from a child. Local firefighters from the Dyersburg Fire Department are using the qualities and characteristics that make them great firefighters in the classroom at Dyersburg Primary School. Their love, compassion, and desire to make the world a better place is earning "hero" status in the eyes of the students they mentor as well as faculty and staff at DPS.
Three different firefighters come to the school each week totaling 90 minutes of mentoring time to three students. Jennifer Davis, HOSTS facilitator at DPS, was thrilled to receive their offer to serve.
"It was wonderful to receive a phone call from Mr. John Doyle. I was so grateful when he told me he had nine firefighters who wanted to volunteer for the HOSTS program. It is such a blessing to have them mentor our kindergarten students each week."
"The students are so excited to see them," continued Davis. "The firefighters do an excellent job and Dyersburg Primary School is so fortunate to have these community volunteers. The students love to see the firefighters in the HOSTS room. The firefighters are always dressed in their uniforms, which is very impressive to the kindergarten students. The students truly look up to these community helpers."
Lt. Mark Sykes of the Dyersburg Fire Department talks to DPS kids about the poster contest. The top poster in each grade was sent to the state fire marshal's office in Nashville where state judging will take place in December.
HOSTS, Helping One Student To Succeed, is a one-on-one mentoring program that provides kindergarten students with extra help in reading and math. Mentors in this program meet with a student for one 30-minute session one day a week. Currently there are 172 mentors volunteering their time to 61 DPS kindergarten students. Dyersburg Fire Department represents nine of the 172 volunteers: Randall Beaver, Paul Braithwaite, Billy Brooks, Jay Cryer, Jonathan Cupples, John Doyle, Jeremy McNutt, Eric Putman and Joseph Schultz.
As a way to say "thank you" to the service of the Dyersburg Fire Department, DPS students took part in the State Fire Marshal's Office 2012 Poster Contest. The posters had to follow the National Fire Protection Associations annual theme, "Have 2 Ways Out". Students completed nearly 200 posters. Mark Sykes, fire inspector for Dyersburg Fire Department, was impressed with the participation.
"My first thought was 'Wow'," said Sykes. "We have never had that type of participation before. I was impressed that we are reaching out and getting the attention of students."
The Dyersburg Fire Department takes time each week to be with DPS kids in the HOSTS program. Three different firefighters each week spend 90 minutes of their time, serving as mentors to kindergartners.
Once the posters were completed, Sykes and other representatives from the DFD visited DPS to judge the posters. Once judging was completed, they took the time to meet all of the winning students, talk about the importance of fire safety, and pose for pictures. They even provided ice cream. From here, the top poster for each grade will be sent to the State Fire Marshal's Office in Nashville. State judging will be held Dec. 10-14. Statewide winners will each receive a first-place ribbon, certificate from the governor, $50 cash, and a free night's stay in Nashville next February for the Poster Contest Banquet.
The HOSTS program meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The 30-minute time blocks begin at 9 a.m. and finish at 2:30 p.m. All lessons and materials are provided. If you would like to learn more about becoming a mentor for the 2012-2013 school year, please contact Davis at (731) 286-3615. For more information about Dyersburg Primary School, please visit them online at dps.dyersburgcityschools.org.