Gates County Community Partnership recently participated in the 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony at T. S. Cooper Elementary School. The program began with a processional, where the 38 honorees matriculated to their “positions of honor!”

“We are excited for the future of our rising 6th graders! Central Middle School awaits their excellence,” said Sherley Jones, Jr., Director, Gates County Community Partnership. “We would like to thank T. S. Cooper Elementary School for allowing us to participate in this program, as it is important to support the educational development and academic achievement of our youth.”

Academic achievement raises self-esteem, boosts confidence, and promotes positive attitudes towards learning, leading to better outcomes. For middle school aged students, it is important to establish good habits like studying, time management, and discipline, which are vital for success in higher levels of education.

During the ceremony’s keynote address, Gates County Community Partnership’s Benjamin C. Saunders, Jr. discussed the importance of overcoming fear.

“Fear is something all of us will have to confront at some point in our lives. It is a natural human emotion that is triggered by the presence of danger or risk. Fear is not necessarily a bad thing, as it can keep us safe and protect us from harm. However, fear can also be crippling if we allow it to take control of our lives. Fear can hold us back from achieving our goals and fulfilling our dreams. It can prevent us from living our lives to the fullest,” stated Benjamin C. Saunders, Jr., President, Gates County Community Partnership.

He added that overcoming fear is not easy. There may be setbacks, but strength, courage, and confidence are gained by every experience where fear is confronted. Saunders ended by encouraging the rising 6th graders to yearn to be great, which he defined as using opportunities to help others have a better life.

“T. S. Cooper greatly appreciates the support from Gates County Community Partnership. It was great to have a former Wildcat and GCCP member speak to the 5th graders during their promotion and share his experience as a Wildcat and the possibilities waiting for our students,” said Leslie Wright, Dean of Students, T. S. Cooper Elementary School.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Gates County Community Partnership presented T. S. Cooper Elementary School with a $1,000 donation from the proceeds of their recent Alumni Basketball Game.

“T. S. Cooper Elementary School matters to Gates County and our organization, not just because of the fine education it provides its students. The school has been a beacon of hope for the local neighborhood south of the stoplight on Highway 32,” emphasized Sandra Jordan Branch, Director, Gates County Community Partnership. “A majority of our board are from Sunbury and attended the school, so our memories run deep. From the neighborhood basketball and football games to the summer softball games, the school provided for us when other places did not. We will always be grateful!”

Gates County Community Partnership is a 501(c)3 public charity whose mission is to inspire and increase community engagement by the citizens of Gates County for the educational and social development of its youth.