Mrs. Dorrie Moon is a teacher’s aide at Marion Sarah Peyton Elementary School (MSP) in Marion, Maryland. In the fall of 2003, there were 10 boys at MSP who were taking up approximately 80 percent of the principal’s time for discipline reasons. Dorrie volunteered to start an alternative suspension program for these 10 boys, known as the Boy’s Club. Her work with the Boy’s Club has gone above and beyond the typical duties and working hours of a teacher’s aide. Many of the original members of the Boy’s Club have moved on to middle school and she finds time to visit them each week to make sure they are doing well in school. Each day they meet with her for morning homeroom where they set daily goals. At the end of the day, they meet to assess how they did and what they can do to improve. Over that school year, she saw a steady increase in progress and a decrease in office referrals. The love and care that Dorrie showed these boys made them realize they can strive for more and reach success. Their whole lives, they were targeted as the “bad kids” and they continued to see themselves as that. Once she made them realize they can work towards losing that stigma, they began to turn their lives around.
Community Needs and Solutions Many families in the Marion area are of low-income status and broken homes; the 10 boys in the Boy’s Club are perfect examples of this. One student was homeless and often did not come to school; other students are living with aunts or grandparents. A major community concern in Marion is working with these types of families. Dorrie has started a unique program that addresses some of these issues and makes the kids work towards the long-term goal of graduating high school.
Connection Building Dorrie has volunteered her time to do community service projects with the kids. It is very important to her to show the kids how to give back to others.
Ongoing Involvement This is the second year for the Boy’s Club and due to the success of it, she has started the Rose Buds for the girls at MSP.
Impact The impact Dorrie has made on these students can be seen on the schools’ graphs and charts. It shows where the increase is on progress and a decrease in failures.
Innovation Dorrie has implemented a new and unique sub-program into her two programs at MSP, known as Kids of Honor. Kids of Honor encourages youths, especially those a risk of failing, to reach for success and seeks to have more young people successfully complete high school. Our mission is to instill in young people the will to finish high school through a simple rewards program that reinforces positive feelings of achievement, encourages personal success and helps establish habits of responsibility to last a lifetime. Unlike stand-alone programs, Kids of Honor links and leverages community resources to enhance existing programs and work with struggling kids.