Cincy Chic: What is the Literacy Network’s Winners Walk Tall Program?
Kimberly Whitton, Communications Coordinator at the Literacy Network: Winners Walk Tall provides trained character coaches to students in grades K-6 to instill positive traits and teach important life lessons. Character coaches give their time to discuss topics associated with manners, ethics and life skills. Volunteers come from the community and actively visit classrooms to inspire students and encourage them to succeed. WWT lessons are also utilized in our one-on-one Winners Read tutoring program to help educate each child while teaching manners and leadership qualities.
Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the program?
Whitton: In 1992, Bob Mauk established Winners Walk Tall to develop today’s youth into tomorrow’s winners. Mr. Mauk’s daughter was a teacher and he volunteered to help them with their studies and came to the conclusion that they also needed help with manners. It is amazing to think in 23 years how many children have benefited from this program that teaches fundamental values and life-changing skills.
Cincy Chic: Who are the winners from the 2015 Winners Walk Tall program?
Whitton: Over 170 character coaches served thousands of “Winners” throughout Greater Cincinnati this year. One student was in a body cast at the beginning of the year and stood up during their character coaching session in the middle of the year, walked around the room and proudly said, “Look, I am walking tall.” And he certainly was.
Cincy Chic: Are there any other upcoming programs for the Literacy Network’s Winners Walk Tall program?
Whitton: The majority of our Winners Walk Tall program is during the school year in the classroom. There are about 70 staff members of the Boys and Girls Clubs throughout Greater Cincinnati who we have trained in Winners Walk Tall. They will utilize the program throughout their summer program as well.
Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for the Literacy Network?
Whitton: Our partnerships and programs continue to grow in each program at the Literacy Network. For example, we have built many new partnerships and grown existing partnerships this year including: Boys and Girls Club, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Mount Saint Joseph University, and many other local schools and businesses. Upcoming fundraising events include the Spelling Bee for Literacy in September, working at the Taste of Cincinnati in May and the Forekids Golf Outing (which we will benefit from) in September.
Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Whitton: For more information on programs, volunteering and giving opportunities, call (513) 621-READ or visit the Literacy Network at www.lngc.org. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.