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Rucker Museum puts focus on education
Back to School rally offers students supplies, food and fun
Visitors take a tour of the Beulah Rucker Museum on Saturday morning during the annual Back to School Rally. School supplies were donated to youths, who also enjoyed free food. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

In an effort to make the reality of starting classes again early Monday morning more fun, the Beulah Rucker Museum held a rally for the students and families preparing for the beginning of the new school year.

This was the fifth year of the Back to School Rally and Education Day sponsored by The Educational Foundation and Museum of Beulah Rucker.

Though only the second year the event has been held at the museum, the rally’s mission remained to help assist educators and school staffers in encouraging students to stay in school.

Among the fun, prizes were given out to teachers and adults and free hot dogs and hamburgers were offered to all who attended. Students who completed a tour of the museum received a Beulah Rucker Museum bookbag filled with school supplies.

LaTaria Reynolds-Bruce, a high school teacher for over 20 years in different school systems in the Southeast, attended the day’s festivities in support of the rally’s mission.

“There is no more important message we need to give to our kids than to stay in school and finish school,” she said. “The benefits of education are countless, and parents and teachers need to do everything they can to talk to their kids about it.”

Reynolds-Bruce has seen her fair share of students not finishing their schooling during her time teaching.

“I’ve seen kids with so much potential to do some great things, even world-changers, who have left school for whatever reason,” she said. “If things like this rally can set in the mind of even just one student how important it is to finish their studies, then it’s completely worth the effort that goes into it.”

Beulah Rucker, from whom the museum derives its name, established a school for African-American students in the area at a time when opportunities for the education was infrequent. For Milly Noles, one of many students present at Saturday’s rally, the name rang a bell.

“My teacher last year talked to us a little about her,” Noles said of Rucker.

Learning more about a figure she had studied in school wasn’t the only thing that Noles was excited about.

“The food was good, and I got a backpack. I love getting new school stuff,” she said.

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