ELBERT SOLOMON AND TIMOTHY FREDERICK AT STALEY MIDDLE
"I CARE" FOUNDER, ELBERT SOLOMON, MENTORS AT FOUR SUMTER COUNTY SCHOOLS Elbert Solomon, the Founder and CEO of "I CARE," has witnessed growth of his company to now be present in schools in 35 states. The program started in Sumter County some 16 years ago and was first welcomed in Sarah Cobb Elementary in 2006 and is now implemented system-wide. "This 'I CARE' Parental Involvement Character-Building Program is a great partnership between parents, schools, churches, businesses and a world that seems to be more detrimental to the positive thoughts and actions of young people today," said Solomon.
As his company has grown to offer extensive services and products supportive of the corporate mission, Mr. Solomon has planned his travel dates throughout the United States so that he maintains personal time to mentor at four Sumter County Schools. "With customers and potential customers of 'I CARE' requesting more of my time, I must remind myself of the need to maintain contact with local students and practice what I teach. I visit a mentee at Staley Middle, Sumter County Elementary, Sumter County Middle, and Sarah Cobb Elementary Schools. After many years as a Mentor, I still leave students with more than I brought to the 45 minute discussion. I plan to increase my visits to these students," smiled Mr. Solomon.
To permit Mr. Solomon more time and depth with actual student/adult discussion, he attends each session with an age-sensitive information sheet with the "I CARE" Character Word of the Month. "Reminding students of the word of the month is one thing. In depth discussion of the meaning and importance of this character word is vital to understanding and living it out," said Solomon.
Timothy Frederick, a 7th grader at Staley, has been Mr. Solomon's mentee for two years. He has begun his 3rd year as Tim's mentor. Tim said, "I like the 'I CARE' Program very much. It helps me to review good character words and traits that help me now and in later years. I do appreciate Mr. Solomon's time," said Timothy. The "I CARE" website, ICARE@ICARENOW.COM, offers additional information about the products and services of the locally-begun organization.
Here, Timothy Frederic, front left and his mother, Mrs. Canyon Frederick, back left, Mrs. Victoria Harris, Principal of Staley Middle School and Mr. Solomon.