Sunday, February 26, 2012

Marthious Clavier – 2002, 2008

Marthious Clavier
While attending the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), I had many memorable and meaningful experiences. The memories that I will share with you occurred during my sophomore year of college. I was a member of the Math Boosters club, and as a group we decided to do an outreach to the Evelyn M. Williams Elementary School on St. Croix. Our goal was to assist the school in preparing some of its students for the National Association of Education Progress (NAEP) and Terra Nova standardized tests. My fellow club members and I traveled to the school twice a week for approximately two months and met with the selected students during their lunch hours in the library.

As we prepared the students for the math portion of the standardized test, we also built relationships with each of them. We went to the school with the intention of teaching math, but from time to time we found ourselves having discussions about life. There were moral and ethical questions posed to us by the students. I remember one particular student asked me, “If you see someone drop a five dollar bill while they are walking, is it wrong to pick it up and keep it?” The student asked that question based on the saying, ‘Finders keepers, losers weepers.’

At that point, the other club members and I took a short break to explain to the group, not just the student who asked the question, why the saying would not apply to that case. It took them a little while to understand that if there was no way to return a found item to the owner, it may be okay to keep it. However, if there was a way to return an item to its rightful owner, it was their duty to make every attempt to return it. It really sank home to them when they were asked to be in the shoes of the person who lost the money. How would they feel?

Clavier in 1999 receiving volunteer certificate from Dr. Lionel Sewpershad
 the then principal of the Evelyn M. Williams Elementary School
I mark this experience as one of my most memorable because we were able to teach lifelong lessons that I hope that those students still utilize today. The fact that I had attended the Evelyn Williams School made the outreach even more special for me. Being in the classrooms and walking the hallways brought back many memories of being a child and attending school there. Everything looked the same, and it was truly rewarding to give back to next generation. I saw so much of me in the young people I tutored those many years ago. Giving back to the community had a whole new meaning to me after that experience, and as a result, I have continued through the years to participate in many other volunteer experiences. I thank UVI for not only what I learned in the classroom, but for all the wonderful learning opportunities I was afforded outside the classroom.

Mr. Clavier is presently an Extension Instructor and Extension
 Agent at UVI’s Cooperative Extension Service

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