SALISBURY, MD---If volunteerism begets volunteerism, Paula Morris, marketing faculty at Salisbury University’s Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, could be the spokeswoman for the effort.
In 2001, she volunteered on a committee to improve the learning center at The Salvation Army in Salisbury. Local students attended the center to help bring up their grade point averages to qualify to play school sports. However, once their GPAs were at the appropriate level, their enrollment in the program ended.
Morris wanted to see these children continue to succeed, even after their required attendance in the learning center had ended. The solution: Kids of Honor, a program she led the committee in founding to promote continuous success among Salisbury’s public school students.
The Daily Points of Light Foundation recently honored Morris for her contribution to the program with its prestigious Daily Points of Light Award, presented by the ShoreCAN Volunteer Center at Salisbury University. The award is one of the highest national volunteerism honors.
Kids of Honor “catches” children doing something right and recognizes a monthly winner for basic skills such as attendance, behavior, cooperation and preparation. At the end of the year, one monthly winner is selected to become the annual Kid of Honor, receiving a $500 check. The money is invested on the child’s behalf, and the winner is not eligible to receive the funds until he or she graduates from high school. In 2003, Morris enlisted the help of a formal board to continue the program, which she oversees as chair.
Since then, the program has expanded to include three annual community service projects as well as three yearly fun activities for Kids of Honor participants. The project has grown beyond the confines of The Salvation Army, as well, serving 23 youth programs on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Daily Points of Light Awards recognize volunteers who provide long-term educational, safety and service opportunities in local communities. President George Bush implemented the Daily Points of Light program in 1989, recognizing more than 1,000 volunteers nationwide through 1993. The program was reinstated in 1998.
For more information call 410-546-6015 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu. "