Vicky Cogdell of Hobbton Middle School receives recognition for her work in the the exceptional children’s program. She is pictured with Sampson County Schools board member Daryll Warren. – Photo by Chase Jordan | Sampson Independent
Toys for Tots Coordinator Carmen Jones, right, is honored by Belva Lovitt of Sampson County Schools for her work with Toys for Tots. – Photo by Chase Jordan | Sampson Independent

Sampson County School recently recognized supporters of the Toys for Tots for their donations, which went to many children in the school district.

Belva Lovitt, director of technology, media, and E-rate services honored Coordinator Carmen Jones and the Rovanak Family for their contributions. According to officials more than 6,000 books were distributed during the holiday season through a partnership with Scholastic Books. The Rovanak’s donated $1,000 to the organization, with victims of Hurricane Florence as a major reason.

“It’s an awesome thing to have groups and businesses wanting to help our school district,” Lovitt said.

For the second year, Jones contacted Lovitt with a donation for the district. The first time, it was 1,000 books, but for the recent holiday season the total increased by 5,000.

“With the help of the Sampson County maintenance department, the technology department and our school principals, we had to pull a lot of people together to get them out,” Lovitt said. “We were able to get these books sorted, boxed, and delivered to the schools just in time for Christmas. Many students profited from this great literature gift.”

Lovitt also thanked Jones for her help with the local program, which also benefits Bladen, Duplin and Wayne counties as well. Toys for Tots started in 1947 when the late Major Bill Hendricks and a group of Marines Reservists distributed more than 5,000 toys to needy children in Los Angeles. The idea was suggested by his wife, Diane Hendricks. Since then, more than 540 million toys have been donated to 251 million less fortunate children.

Hobbton’s Cogdell honored

Vicky Cogdell of Hobbton Middle School was honored as the Shining Star for the Exceptional Children’s (EC) Department.

She is an EC self-contained teacher, with more than 20 years of service. Dr. La’Chandra Parker, director of the district’s EC program, said it speaks to her commitment to to the students that she serves.

“She is passionate about her students and has work diligently to enhance their educational opportunities in the classroom and total school environment,” Parker said. “She uplifts her colleagues and finds the best in every situation.”

Parker added that she’s a genuine educator and staunch advocate for all children so they can skills to be successful, among other contributions.

Hobbton’s EC program also lauded
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