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Raspberry speaks on program

August 2, 2010

By Brandon Walker
Daily Times Leader
Continuing his pursuit to help the education of Clay County’s children, Dr. Johnnie Raspberry appeared before the Clay County Board of Supervisors with his latest pitch on Monday morning.
Raspberry, who is attempting to start a youth program aimed at early education in Clay County, brought a letter to the board’s attention citing a great need for early education among the youth of Clay County.
Raspberry focused on the growing need for early literacy.
“We have too many kids starting school without the necessary skills,” said Raspberry, “skills like basic reading. We have to do whatever we can to make sure these children are prepared as they start in our school systems. Otherwise, it slows the kids down and it slows the other students down as well.
“We have an opportunity to help. That’s why I’m coming to you.”
Raspberry has approached the board previously for assistance with launching his youth program. On Monday, he talked about the need for the board’s help.
“I know $25,000 would not be enough to fund this program,” Raspberry said, “but it would help us get started and allow us to work with organizations who could grant us the necessary money.”
Raspberry also said his program would “Focus on the parent and the child. If the parents can’t read to their kids, we will have a mentor there to do that for them.”
The Board of Supervisors did not take any action regarding Raspberry’s appearance on Monday, opting to go to Board attorney Lee Coleman for legal advisement on the matter.
“We do appreciate what you are trying to do,” said District 3 Supervisor R.B. Davis. “Anything pertaining to education is definitely important.”

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