17 May 2012
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
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"Education equals freedom is like a mime in a box. The mime is in the box because it has no education; the education is the key. When the mime gets an education, the key opens the door to freedom and the mime is free."
Celina Williams, Seventh grade scholar, Omni Prep Academy
Middle school scholars at Omni Prep Academy (OPA) visited the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery in February. Last Friday (May 11) – three weeks to the day of their visit – they got a chance to build on the earlier connection.
The occasion was the first annual "Walk For Freedom," which served as a fundraiser for the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery. The February visit to the museum and gallery was part of OPA's Saturday school field experiences.
"The Walk for Freedom serves two major purposes for our students. First, the walk underscores the need for them to pursue, with vigor their own educational goals," said Marc Willis, co-founder and CEO of Omni Prep Academy.
"Secondly, our students see more and more of how our school is a part of a larger community and by supporting the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery, we are participating and connecting in our community."
OPA scholars will give the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery a gift of $200 to continue opportunities for young people to experience the Beale Street icon.
"It is such an honor and a privilege for the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery to be the recipient from this wonderful and brilliant program that teaches students at and early age philanthropy," said Rosalind Withers, daughter of the museum's namesake, the late and renowned photographer Ernest Withers.
"It ties into our mission of education and preservation of my father's work. We were able to educate the students as they visited our museum with the historical images of my father's work and they are now a contributor to the preservation of more than a million of his images."
"We would like to encourage more students to be like the students at Omni Prep Academy and give back to the community toward any program that they believe in," said Withers.
Omni Prep Academy, located at 3333 Old Brownsville Rd., is a public charter school in the Raleigh area serving grades K-3 in the lower school and grades 5-8 in the middle school. The school plans to expand the annual Walk for Freedom and include other community organizations.