Deerfield Elementary School recently got approved by the Coffee County Board of Education to begin a Junior Beta Club. The school joins five other county schools with Beta Clubs: Central High School, Raider Academy, Coffee County Middle School, New Union Elementary and North Coffee Elementary. All three Manchester City Schools have Junior Beta clubs as well.
Special education teacher Jamie Daughtery and fifth grade teacher LeAnn Greer are the driving forces behind the club. The club has yet to have their first meeting, which will be in January, but the pair know 10 Deerfield fourth and fifth graders qualify.
Junior Beta Club is open to grades 4-8. Students must have top grades and good records to qualify. Once inducted, those in the club are introduced to leadership and community service opportunities within their school and their community.
“I’m excited to see what our students can bring to the table with something like this,” Greer said.
The pair have ideas, such as having the Junior Betas sponsor and host a Candy Gram drive where students and parents can purchase a candy gram and send it to someone in the school. The teachers want the money to go toward purchasing socks and gloves for nursing homes. Daughtery and Greer’s other idea is for them to have a Relay for Life team in the spring.
In the school, the only idea the teachers had so far is for the club to be in charge of next year’s Read Across America program.
“We want this to be theirs,” Daughtery said.
Greer was in her high school’s Beta Club and, through that experience, was involved in a lot of service projects, Relay for Life and Alzheimer’s initiatives. She still continues participating in some of this projects to this day. Her Beta Club introduced her to opportunities that created lifelong habits of service, something she hopes to instill into the students.
“To give back to their community. We don’t really have an avenue for them to give back,” Greer said.”
The students in the club will be involved in various school functions and will help as needed, but the details have not yet been worked out. It’s Daughtery’s and Greer’s hope that these students, who Greer explained are already well-behaved, will encourage their classmates to perform better in the classroom and in the community.
“We hope the kids will see what the Beta Club is and want to be a part of it, want to be role models,” Daughtery said.
The Junior Beta Club will meet once a month before school during breakfast. This way, there won’t be any trouble with transportation to or from the school. Parents will be encouraged to help the club with transportation and potential oversight during community events.
Along with the academic requirements, there is a fee of $15 to join. However, Greer and Daughtery do not want the inability to pay affect the child’s ability to learn how to be a leader. They are willing to work with the parent and student to allow their child to be inducted into the club.