Deputies visit pre-schoolers

Published 4:25 pm Friday, October 31, 2008

Deputies from the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department visited the Morningside Baptist Church weekday education program recently to take fingerprints of the pre-schoolers, ages 3 and 4.

Sgts. Ed Moorhead and Chad Bennett, and Cpl. Michael Logue instructed the children on safety issues and showed some of the tools used in law enforcement and detective work, and to help the children be more comfortable with the officers prior to Capt. Cecilia Willis taking each child’s fingerprints.

The children were fascinated by the “spy stick” and extra bright flashlights used by officers.

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The first child up for the actual finger printing was Brennyn Timmons, who appeared a little dubious at first of the whole procedure, but soon got into the swing of things. Next up was Jackson Williams, who remained unconvinced, but dutifully submitted to the process.

This is the third year the deputies have been going into the schools with their presentations and fingerprinting, but the first time for the Morningside pre-school.

Morningside pre-school was founded in 1971 by Nell Hendley, under the leadership of Pastor Kenneth Long.

With approximately a dozen children, Hendley and co-teacher Joyce Robinson divided the group into two classes of 4- and 5-year-olds. By 1979, the school had grown to more than 100 students, as Morningside Baptist pioneered the town’s first play school for 3-year-olds. Some of the early teachers were Jane Forsyth, Gloria Reeves and Jo Ann Daniel.

Jo Carol Marshall became the next director of what became known as Church Weekday Education (CWE), which included classes for children 3, 4 and 5 years old.