MR. ANTHONY STALLWORTH AND STUDENTS AT SUMTER COUNTY ELEMENTARY
"MR. CHICAGO" MOVES TO AMERICUS, GEORGIA
Mr. Anthony Stallworth, formerly of Chicago, Illinois, moved to Americus some 18 months ago. Lured to Southwest Georgia by his older daughter in Plains, Mr. Stallworth brought larger-city ideals with him. In a short time, Mr. Stallworth has formed plans that he hopes to soon implement in the Sumter County area and Sumter County Schools. As students learned Mr. Stallworth's name and former location, he soon was called, "Mr. Chicago." "I had never heard of Americus before I came with my younger daughter. I was lured here by family and their stories about the pace and freedom of small town living. They were right and I love this town!" said Mr. Stallworth.
Almost every day, Mr. Stallworth goes to Sumter County Elementary with his daughter. "Mr. Stallworth is a member of our school family. He is as regular as sunrise on this school. He is filling the male parent role that so many of our students lack," said Principal, Mrs. Sharron Marcus. While in Chicago, he worked in a local nursing home facility and was an active volunteer in the local schools. "Although both Chicago and Americus have similar needs to more male-parent association, Chicago has more issues with single-parent families with only a mother's leadership. Growing kids need male involvement in the family," said Stallworth.
Learning of the like problem of male involvement with students, Stallworth plans to organize a Man-Boy Breakfast at Sumter County Elementary. "Mrs. Marcus has been gracious to let me pilot my Man-Boy program at this school. I hope that we will fill the void in young male students’ lives with this positive approach and that we can soon have similar programs in other schools," shared Stallworth.
The monthly Man-Boy program would be held each month. It would begin with a discussion with the entire group concerning the responsibility of male members in our society. “I plan to discover 10 other Sumter County men who share like thoughts about helping young boys,” said Mr. Stallworth. After the initial forum with students, there would be a meal and a sports activity. "I realize that football is an important sport in Sumter County. There are other sports like basketball, tennis, gymnastics and baseball that we will enjoy with the change of season and school schedule. Some of these kids have never had a father or older man to take time for them to have one-on-one contact and instruction. We will remedy that problem," assured Mr. Stallworth.
In the last year, the action-packed volunteer has been a mentor with three boys at Sumter County Elementary and two male students at Sumter County Middle School. Mr. Stallworth boasts that he receives a blessing each time he mentors and has contact with male students who need an older man to hear conflicts that could develop into more serious problems. At 48 years of age, Mr. Anthony Stallworth wants to broaden his scope of concern for kids. He plans for his responsive leadership with guys to spill over into a program to help young female students with daily problems. "We will be sure that these youngsters learn early that when men talk, boys will listen. When men relate sometimes awkward experiences in their own lives, young men should listen to avoid the same mistakes. It is time to end the concept of 'throw-away' children. When we help these younger guys, we will also learn from them. As demands on younger students in today's society are different from my growing up, I am quickly learning that men with two open ears are a valuable asset in our society," said Mr. Stallworth.
Each day at Sumter County Elementary and in other areas of Sumter County, “Mr. Chicago” tells students and adults that all citizens must take time to share proven strategies for living in today's world. “Sure, Chicago is a different site than Americus. I want to change the notion and worn-out remarks that 'boys will be boys.' I want to see boys become productive men. We cannot let them down," remarked Mr. Stallworth. He has an avid appreciation for Sumter County Elementary, the teachers and the security that students receive each day. “All of us, parents, students and volunteers, must unite to be on the same team to help each other. In time, we will win the battle,” assured “Mr. Chicago”.
Here, Mr. Stallworth surrounds himself with students in Mrs. Cassie Bradley's class at Sumter County Elementary. Pictured, from left on the front row, are Earnest Parrott, Quantavious Hurley, Kolbie Cooper; on the second row are Ms. Hazel McCormick, Michael Flemming, Joshua Jones, “Mr. Chicago” and Mrs. Cassie Bradley.