Unity Day Celebrates Academic "Overachievers"

7:20 AM, Sep 3, 2012   |    comments
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Many performers took to the stage at Shrine Park Sunday, but at this concert, the stars were in the audience. 

Al Tillman and June O'Neal of the Mentors project put on the show to celebrate Bibb County Schools' academic over-achievers. With music, food, and fun, Tillman says  they wanted to convey a specific message. That smart is the new cool.

"We want children throughout Macon to be known for being very very smart," said June O'Neal.

She says often times positive outcomes are overshadowed by negative news.  With events like this one, she looks forward to change.

"Everyday in the paper, every few days, we read about Macon man shot," O'Neal said. "We want to read about Macon children going to Yale and Harvard, and West Point, and Fort Valley State."

Williams Elementary student Johndrick Booker is already on that path. 

"It's always good to be smart,"  he says.

He makes straight-A's and last year, he had the highest overall scores in reading and math at his school.

His parents say they couldn't be more proud. 

"If you just stay into your son's education, your children's education, along with the teacher they can also achieve this,
 said his mother Charara Booker.

The organizers hope the spirit of the event will trickle into the classroom and encourage other kids to follow suit. 

"The kids are very excited they know this is for them," said organizer Al Tillman. "To be able to jump on these jumpers, enjoy live music and to have a conversation with teachers and parents and a lot of positive people around them.  This is what our community is about."

This year, 300 cool smart kids were honored at the event. Johndrick says next year, there can be more.

"Now if you wanna be like me," he says, "make all A's"

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