I Am Smart!

Veronica Harrison, a graduate of the Parent Leadership Institute, is a dedicated parent in Hamilton, MS. Understanding the importance of science to elementary students – and the lack of a science fair at her project school – Veronica worked with the administration and parents of Hatley Attendance Center to give students the chance for hands-on learning. Hatley is a small school for K-12 students and is a community anchor. Veronica knew that organizing a “Science Night” would benefit both students and parents.

“I wanted students to have hands-on learning experiences because I know that’s one of the most effective ways to learn. I also wanted children who don’t normally receive recognition to have a chance to shine. I’m very proud of our little school and our kids, so this was a chance to show the community what our students have to offer,” said Veronica.

In the weeks leading up to the event, Veronica, parents and teachers encouraged students to participate by making a science fair project, helped interested students in finding the story board and other resources necessary, and assisted in all logistics for the “Science Night.” At this under-resourced school and community, students would not have had a science fair experience without Veronica’s leadership. The results were inspiring!

The night of the event, parents and grandparents crowded into the assembly area and judges reviewed each project. Students celebrated their winning projects and all the students gained knowledge about their particular concentration area. One sixth-grade boy – beaming with pride – walked with his mother to Veronica and exclaimed, “Ms. Veronica, I won! See, I am smart!” As the mother explained to Veronica, her son had never had the chance to demonstrate his mastery of science let alone be recognized for it. The confidence he gained has propelled him.

Veronica explained, “Even months later, his mom still tells me with tears in her eyes that the boost of confidence came at the perfect time for her son. I’m so proud that our team was able to make this a reality.”

Read more examples of our PPS Success Stories