Miss NSU offers donation, message to inspire Tahlequah elementary students

Office of Communications & Marketing | Northeastern State University
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- At the Miss NSU pageant LaTasha Atcity took on much more than a crown last November, she took on a cause.

“As a title holder, I have the opportunity to provide hope, inspiration, and raise awareness to help empower disadvantaged youth. I also remind them that their circumstances do not determine their success,” she said.

As someone who has battled dyslexia all her life, Atcity is now on track to graduate from Northeastern State University in December.

“I know the importance of having a support system and encouragement which is why I am passionate about being a role model for young children to overcome their challenges.”

To honor her Cherokee heritage, Atcity participated in the 2013 Remember the Removal bicycle ride that retraces the northern route of the Trail of Tears during a three-week period. She explained that it was during the daily six to eight hour rides that she had time to reflect on the ways she could use herself to encourage and inspire younger children.

Studies show that reading comprehension at the third grade is critical for students to have success in school. Oklahoma’s Reading Sufficiency Act gives school districts mandates to identify students reading below grade level to give them the support they need to improve their reading skills.

Dr. Allyson Watson, Eddings Endowed Chair for Urban Education, Outreach and Research at NSU, shared how important reading is to students during these formative years. She also emphasized the importance of Atcity’s efforts.

“This type of outreach is something that we are committed to at Northeastern State University. It is important to provide students in our communities with an engaging and motivating presentation to get them excited about reading,” said Watson. “When Miss NSU, LaTasha Atcity approached me about carrying out her platform to empower young students I had the perfect opportunity in mind. LaTasha is from Tahlequah and I know that by sharing her story and the importance of reading with young children she will be an encouragement and a hometown hero.”

Atcity’s platform will launch the first Rowdy’s RiverHawk Readers program and encourage reading. To share words of inspiration and encouragement before they take their tests, Atcity, with NSU mascot Rowdy and a university spokesperson, will make an appearance during a short assembly to third grade students on Wednesday, April 9th at three Tahlequah Elementary Schools: Cherokee, Greenwood and Heritage. At the end of the presentation each third grade student will receive a free book and bookmark to commemorate the event.

Published: 4/3/2014 9:58:22 AM

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