“In today’s world kids need strong male role models,” said Booker.

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When Principal Tammie Cannada came to Taylor elementary from Tennessee she brought an idea of a program she wanted to see implemented.  When Wes Booker of the Wes Booker Agency was asked to be the first speaker of the program, he became intrigued with it and knew he had to be a part of it.

“In today’s world kids need strong male role models,” said Booker.

Booker, along with Taylor elementary teachers Chance Bankhead and James Moore work together to mentor 4th and 5th grade boys. Each Thursday the group eats together then the young men give up a recess to attend meetings where an assortment of men from the community, as well as some not from the community, speak to the boys about what it takes to be a success and a leader.  Chris Gragg, who plays for the Buffalo Bills (#89) and is a Warren native has spoken to the group, David Bazzeal, Rep. Bruce Westerman, Mayor Noel Foster, White Hall Firemen, are just a few of the ones who have spoken to the boys. They like to have a diverse group to speak to the boys and show that you can be successful no matter your upbringing.

The program is called Men in Training or MIT. The club is an opportunity for boys to learn characteristics and qualities of true gentlemen. Some of the values they explore are responsibility, respect, fairness, courage, manners and tolerance. Boys that join the program also learn how to dress like gentlemen and wear their “Sunday Best” to the meetings and practice the skills and values they have learned.

Last Thursday as a special treat the boys who had been attending the meetings regularly were taken on a field trip to the state capitol. They were given a tour that included the House and the Senate and met Lt. Governor Tim Griffin and Governor Asa Hutchinson. Both gentlemen shook each of the boys hands and answered questions from the boys. Booker said, “They asked some extraordinary questions.” They also had pictures made with the Governor. They toured the treasury and were able to hold half a million dollars in their hands. For lunch they went to Playtime Pizza and got to play games for about an hour and a half. Thirty students attended the field trip.

They hope to have the 5th grade boys, who are 4th graders this year, mentor the incoming 4th graders in the fall.

Booker thanked M.K. Distributors, Stone Bank who, along with his company, Wes Booker Agency, sponsor the program.