Anniston 12th graders become teachers for a day

Several seniors at Anniston High School jumped at the opportunity to miss their Tuesday morning classes.They did not skip school, but instead volunteered their time with younger students at Anniston Middle School and several elementary schools.{} The 12th graders helped teach and tutor younger children.Some of the seniors returned to their former elementary schools for the first time since they finished fifth grade.{} Malik Ashford said he wished this program existed when he was a student at 10th Street Elementary School."it would have been exciting.{} It would have been being able to listen, to open up my ears and really pay attention," Ashford said.A member of the AHS marching band, he talked to students about the extra-curricular activities they can look forward to participating in when they get older.{} Ashford said they will have opportunities for music and athletics, but to remember their grades need to come first before anything.Ashford will enlist in the Army following graduation.{} He said he hopes to complete a degree following his service, and career interests include mechanical engineering as well as possibly becoming a chef or an air traffic controller.Ninth grade English teacher Kimberly Reynolds accompanied the 12th graders to 10th Street.{} She said many of the students were anxious at first, but were pleasantly surprised/"They didn't really understand what they needed to do, but they got here and fell in with the procedures and it's just been amazing seeing how the elementary students reacted to our high school students," Reynolds said.She said the seniors were also able to learn from the children."I think some of them didn't realize that they may have a love for teaching and for working with students.{} It's been an enjoyable process today," Reynolds said.Dominique Figures said her experience made her think for a minute that she wanted to be a teacher, but she plans to stick with cosmetology.{} She is already taking classes and working at an Anniston salon.Keyona McClellan worked with some students on conjunctions, and said that although she enjoys helping children, she doesn't think she has the patience to do it all day every day.{} She plans to obtain a professional welding license, but also has an interest in architecture and design.Tuesday's service project reaffirmed at least one student's goal of becoming a teacher."It's teaching me a lot," Emmanuel James said."It's just showing me a lot of stuff that I didn't know."James will attend Alabama A&M University where he will major in education.{} He worked Tuesday with some students on adverbs."I just see the need in helping kids.{} I love helping kids, and I see that that's what they need to go farther," James said.The community service day event was the first of its kind for Anniston city schools.{} AHS principal Sherron Jinadu proposed the idea, and hopes it will become an annual tradition.