Remington and Sterling Green are thriving at Pershing Middle School and their mother credits The Varnett Public School as a key reason for their success.
The boys, who attended Varnett from PreK through 5th grade, have earned all A’s and B’s in Integrated Physics and Chemistry, a high school credit science course; Algebra I; Vanguard Math and Vanguard Reading, said Ms. Keanyatta Jones-Green, mother of Remington, 14, and Sterling, 12.
“The Varnett staff were more than prepared to take them to the next level,” Jones-Green said. “The curriculum was in line with that of HISD (Houston Independent School District) and the staff was educated and accountable. The Saturday tutorials were icing on the cake.”
Sterling was placed in the Vanguard program after his first six weeks at Pershing. “I was called by the teacher and asked why he was in the regular program,” Ms. Jones-Green said. “She asked if I would mind if he was placed in Vanguard courses.”
In demonstrating their trust in Varnett, Ms. Jones-Green and her husband, Michael Green, have a daughter enrolled at Varnett, Southwest PreK. Her name is Dakota A. Green and she already knows from her parents to “listen to your teacher, stay in your seat and be quiet.”
Ms. Jones-Green said she heard about Varnett after witnessing the spelling skills of a five-year-old girl. She asked her mother what school the girl was attending and the answer was Varnett, Southwest.
Boys recall key Varnett moments
Since that time, Remington and Sterling have fond memories of their educational experience at Varnett, a charter school with approximately 1,600 students on three campuses. Remington recalls being featured in the Houston Chronicle (top photo, second from right) after winning the mental math challenge, in which students learned how to add, subtract, multiply and divide problems in their head. He is now in the eighth grade.
Sterling, a sixth-grader, recalls presenting a $3,500 check (bottom photo, second from right) to Texas Southern University President John M. Rudley as part of a fifth-grade community service project. “We want this donation to be given to the Education Administration to purchase equipment, software or supplies that are needed to further instructional presentations for their students,” Sterling told Dr. Rudley during a ceremony in November 2011 before taking a tour of the TSU campus. Sterling also cherishes the trip he and other students took to Washington, D.C. and receiving a miniature flag at the Capitol Building from U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
Ms. Jones-Green said she had solid working relationship with Varnett staff in furthering the education of her children.
“I believe in reciprocity,” she said. “What I started, they finished and vice versa. I worked alongside every teacher my children had. Homework started at home and ended at school, in that order.”
Mr. Michael Green is a business development specialist and Ms. Jones-Green is a mentor with Texas School Ready, a program that takes an early education approach in serving at-risk, preschool-aged children. Both are graduates of Grambling State University, a historically black institution in Grambling, La. The family culture emphasizes education.
“Education is not an option, it is a privilege,” Ms. Jones-Green said.
In closing, Sterling had a message to other students: “Stay disciplined and work hard,” he said.
Top photo: Houston ChronicleBottom photo: Varnett