Archived News | Return to News Center

May 14, 2009

ULM faculty member receives Lincoln Parish Volunteer of the Year Award

An instructor of kinesiology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe was recently awarded with a Lincoln Parish Schools Volunteer of the Year Award at an appreciation luncheon held in nearby Ruston.

Ruston Elementary School nominated faculty member Brian Coyne, along with his volunteer partner and fellow award winner Stacie Woodard, for their outreach efforts through Trinity United Methodist Church. The church won a state-level award as a Distinguished Partner in Education.

“When this volunteer walked into our school armed with a sweet smile and giving spirit, we had no idea that it would translate into a vision of cooperation that would amaze us all,” said Project Achieve Coordinator Cathi Cox, a member of the Lincoln Parish School Board, at the luncheon.

Cox said the volunteer team organized hundreds of other volunteers to bring food, supplies, sweatshirts, and books for each child at Ruston Elementary School. In addition, they emphasized literacy at home, which “was initiated with incredible energy and passion,” said Cox.

As a member of the Advisory Board for the North Central Louisiana Partners in Prevention Community Coalition, Cox described Coyne as a person who “not only is incredibly intuitive when it comes to identifying needs; he immediately springs to action to try and meet those needs.”

“His moral compass is always pointed in the right direction and that makes his volunteerism so inspiring … He has truly made a difference in the lives of children and adults alike,” she said.

Because of the partnership, Cox said the district has been able to accomplish numerous objectives, among them:

• Placing more then 40 reading volunteers in Ruston Elementary School each year, and expand the reading volunteer program to include members from other churches and community groups

• Presenting one book per week to each student working with a volunteer so that they have reading resources at home, and providing school supplies to students who are unable to provide their own

• Providing awards and incentives to Lincoln Parish students for academic achievement

• Enabling many poverty-stricken students to experience their first Christmas celebration

• Hosting an event that introduced more than 40 community stakeholders to parents and students of Lincoln Parish Schools while showcasing district schools

• Sustaining and enhancing Project ACHIEVE, a new parish initiative designed to “Accelerate Children Higher In Educational Values Everywhere,” through corporate sponsorship funds.

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.