Encouraging and Leading Kids to Succeed (E.L.K.S.), Elk City Public Schools
When Danny McClure was asked to serve as coordinator for the E.L.K.S. mentoring program, he began making a list of men and women in the community who would serve as outstanding positive role models for children in the school-based program. The first name that came to mind, he said, was Tim Bagby.
“He is a man of high moral standards and integrity,” McClure said. “Simply put, Tim is a man I want my children and grandchildren to associate with!”
Bagby, the superintendent of roadways for the City of Elk City and assistant pastor at Grace Temple Worship Center, accepted the call to be a mentor and has been matched for a year to seventh-grader Braydon, a student at Elk City Middle School. McClure describes the pair as “the ideal match.”
Bagby meets weekly with Braydon for mentoring. They work together on school work and just talk about their lives. Bagby tries to incorporate helpful advice on hygiene, goal setting and other life skills in their conversations.
“Brayden is young, energetic and respectful,” Bagby said. “He has opened up a lot since we were first matched. We talk about everything.”
“There are times Tim will stop and eat lunch with Braydon at the school cafeteria,” McClure said. “The students around Braydon will ask, ‘Who is the man sitting with you?’ and Braydon proudly responds, ‘He is my mentor!’”
Bagby said he has benefitted as much from the relationship as Brayden has. “It helps me, too. It helps me relate more with young people, and I get such a feeling of joy when I see him.”
About the Program: Launched by Elk City Public Schools in January 2017, Encouraging and Leading Kids to Succeed (E.L.K.S.) is a school-based mentoring program with an emphasis on relationship-building and career exploration for middle school students. In fall 2017, the program had 50 mentors, with plans to eventually expand the program to younger and older students.