Most people associate the word “teacher” with ABCs and 1,2,3s, but for one Vicksburg educator, being a good teacher has always meant something much more than that.
For Woodrow Price, lead teacher at Warren Central Junior High School, the job goes beyond reading and math.
“Most schools in our area are Title 1 schools. That just means we have large concentrations of students from low-income families,” Price said. “Most of the time when you have a lot of low-income families, you’ll find a lot of single parent households. Typically, there is no consistent father figure in these homes, and kids need a good male role model in their lives.”
That fact prompted Price to step in and step up, so he began several programs aimed at introducing successful, male role models in children’s lives.
One of Price’s programs is Real Men Read. Once a month, Price recruits successful men in the community to his school to read with students.
“The men we invite are businessmen, police officers, firemen, local politicians, you name it. I want the kids — especially the boys — to see what they can achieve,” he said.
Similar programs Price introduced are Boys to Men and Dress for Success. Those, too, are aimed at providing students with positive male role models.
“I grew up in a single parent household, but I’m grateful I had a grandfather, an uncle and a pastor,” Price said. “Too many kids in Vicksburg aren’t as blessed as I was.”
With the growing number of young people committing crimes in our community, Price said he felt something had to be done.
“It’ll really get you down,” he said, “and I found myself thinking how different things could’ve been for that kid with the right guidance.”
Price also thinks about how easily his life could have taken a wrong turn.
“I was lucky. I had good men in my life,” he said. “If not for them, who knows where I would have ended up?”