Posted: Thursday, December 3, 2015
On any given day at Greenview Child Development Center, you’ll find four-year-olds who are reading, writing, and learning in various centers around the classroom.
You might also find Custodian Jemacus McCombs stopping by on a break from moving furniture or blowing leaves. When he walks in the room, students run to him, hugging, jumping and eager to see his infectious smile. “I grew up in a home without two parents. I know how it is not to have the attention you need as a child,” he said. “I always said money doesn’t matter, but kids are going to remember time you spent with them. So when the kids ask me to do something, I do it for them.”
He joins a group of budding architects in the block center and assists as they build a house that is taller than they are. In the reading center, bright-eyed students surround him as he reads a book aloud.
“I take the challenge of earning their trust and getting them to respect me. Once they learn to trust and respect me, then we can have fun and they are willing to learn from me,” he explained. “You never know what’s going on in a child’s life or what kind of environment they’re in, so I try to show them I care,” McCombs said.
McCombs said his first grade teacher at Alexander Elementary School, Mrs. Hawkins, taught him a valuable lesson. “She said, ‘Never think you’re better than anybody else. Everybody’s the same, so treat them the same.’ That has stuck with me all these years,” he said.
Assistant Principal Kimberly Brown said McCombs’ contributions to the school exemplify the phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ “He is great with the children and serves as a wonderful role model for the students,” she said.