Rhodes and Cypress Continue to Reap Benefits From Partnership


Publication Date: 3/6/2007

Rhodes geology professor Carol Ekstrom and Cypress student Kortney Williams holding a "thank you" poster made by Cypress students.

In welcoming Rhodes College representatives to Cypress Middle School for a partnership signing ceremony on March 1, Cypress student Vintoni Chase in his speech reminded the audience that “It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child.” Cypress honor students, parents, and teachers as well as representatives from Girls Club, Inc. and Springdale Baptist Church helped to fill the school’s library where the school adoption ceremony was held.

Although the  program read “A New Beginning,” Rhodes and Cypress have worked together for years on numerous projects including environmental education, homecoming games, the chess club, PTA Math and Science Night , tutoring, fitness and mentoring, and more recently Space Camp.

“These activities have provided learning experiences for both groups,” said Rhodes geology professor Carol Ekstrom who was one of the signers at the ceremony.

Cypress student Kortney Williams presented Ekstrom with a poster to share with the Rhodes campus. The poster read “Thanks Rhodes College for Sending Us to Space Camp –Cypress Middle School.”  Shown at the ceremony was a video presentation of students, parents and teachers at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Cypress was one of three schools that traveled to the space camp in November as part of a Rhodes’ NASA Stars grant.

“In a few years, we hope to see students from Cypress studying at Rhodes and engaging in the same kinds of activities back at Cypress,” added Ekstrom.

The signing of the partnership agreement also included Dr. Russell Wigginton, vice-president for college relations at Rhodes; Raymond Vasser, principal at Cypress; Beatrice Williams, Adopt-A-School Coordinator; Allison Sims and Deshawn Thomas, student representatives; and Miska Bibbs, Memphis City Schools Adopt-A-School Coordinator.