Longtime Monticello educator to speak at MLK banquet

Gaynell R. Jamison, educator and children’s author, will be the speaker for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet at St. James AME Church at Warren at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The church will also honor community members Donald Baldwin, Luther Dangerfield, Linda Davis, Bettye Edwards, Martha Reed, George Walker, Mary Green Walker and Datrick Walker.

Jamison is a product of the north as well as the south. She was born at Flint, Mich., and spent her summers in Michigan for 17 years but attended public schools in Arkansas graduating from Eudora High School. She is a graduate of Henderson State University with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education; a master of science in education from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and an educational specialist degree in reading from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

She has been an educator for 34 years in the Monticello School District, mostly in the field of reading. She was instrumental in helping to establish the Southeast Arkansas Reading Recovery Consortium, the first Reading Recovery Consortium Site in the state of Arkansas in collaboration with UALR and Monticello School District. She is employed as the teacher leader for the consortium serving four school districts — Crossett, Dermott, McGehee and Monticello. In addition to serving as a teacher leader, she is presently employed in her first year as the director of Monticello Pre-K, serving 3- and 4-year-olds.

Jamison has written five children’s books which are featured in the Kaleidoscope Collection, a series of early readers published by Hameray Publishing Group Inc. of San Diego, Calif. Copies of Jamison’s books will be available for purchase during the event.

Tickets are $10 and may be purchased from members of the church or at the door. Everett Wallace is the program coordinator and the Rev. Barry Spencer is the pastor.