11.22.2010

William Bunn Prep School Delivers Coloring Books to Area Hospitals

The members of the William Bunn Preparatory School and Moore Square Middle School Principal Dave Kershner (front row) pause for a photo with Master Officer Witherspoon, Capt. K.S. Craghead, William Bunn's grandparents and aunt, Lt. K.A. Carswell, Sgt. J.R. Marx and Senior Officer J.A. Priest after delivering several hundred coloring books to WakeMed Children's Hospital on November 22.
On November 22, Master Officer G. Witherspoon and the William Bunn Preparatory School class presented a big gift to the smallest patients at local hospitals—hundreds of coloring books, along with crayons, board games, and children’s DVDs to entertain youngsters while they undergo treatment.
 
Early in the school year, Witherspoon selected 10 seventh-grade boys from Moore Square Middle School in downtown Raleigh to become the first class in the William Bunn Preparatory School, which is named after the RPD’s first honorary officer and focuses on leadership, college preparation, and community service. For their first service project, Witherspoon and the class began in early October to collect coloring books and other items to keep kids entertained during long stays in the hospital. The class designed a flyer to post around their school asking for donations, and even organized a school dance with an admission fee of at least one coloring book.
 
In a matter of weeks, the class gathered more than 1,500 coloring books, which they will distribute to WakeMed, Rex, Duke, and UNC hospitals. In addition, Purple Elephant, a local non-profit agency that refurbishes donated computers and gives them to kids, agreed to contribute a desktop computer to each hospital’s pediatric department for young patients to use to work on homework assignments or play educational games.
 
Witherspoon chose the members of the William Bunn Preparatory School class based on their goal to attend college after graduating high school, and every Wednesday, the young men dress in their uniforms—a shirt and tie, sport coat, and slacks—and meet with Witherspoon, who will often bring in guest speakers to talk to them about what they should do to be successful in education and life. Captain K.S. Craghead and Lieutenant K.A. Carswell of the Downtown District recently visited the class to encourage them to strive for excellence while maintaining a humble spirit and making good choices.
 
Witherspoon says that he calls the William Bunn Preparatory School a “journey of education.” “I don’t call it a programbecause programs come and go,” said Witherspoon. “A program has an end. Education doesn’t have an end—it never stops.” He plans to take the class to visit N.C. State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Duke University so that the young men can experience the university environment and see what college classes are like. “I want them to envision themselves in college and understand that higher education is attainable,” said Witherspoon.
 
The class has already begun its next service project; together with members of the Caraleigh community in southwest Raleigh, they are collecting children’s books for the Salvation Army to distribute to Wake County families during the holiday season. According to Witherspoon, the group’s goal is to collect 5,000 books for kids of all ages.

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