Idea behind “Arthur” visits PCES
PHIL CAMPBELL – The faculty and staff at Phil Campbell Elementary have done their best to make sure their students have as normal a school year possible even though reminders from the April 27 tornado are still present almost everywhere they look.
But the school’s faculty and staff aren’t the only ones worried about the students.
This past week, PCES welcomed Kim Brown, sister to author Marc Brown, creator of the popular children’s series “Arthur,” to their school courtesy of a man who “just wanted to do something nice for the kids.”
Law Lamar is a CPA from the Mountain Brook area but the real joy in his life is making a difference in the lives of others through his ministry “Friends of Hale County,” a ministry he started in 2002.
Lamar has helped schools in eight counties during the past nine years and he said he became interested in reaching out to Phil Campbell Elementary after hearing about the devastation caused in the town following the tornado.
“One thing I do with some of the schools I help is have Kim Brown come and talk to the students about the character D.W. from the ‘Arthur’ books that her brother Marc modeled after her,” Lamar said. “It’s something fun and something different that can still be educational.”
During Brown’s program, the children learned all about D.W.; were able to ask questions about the book series; learned how to draw the main character, Arthur; and got an autograph from Brown.
“I’ve been doing this for about the last five years and all the kids get so excited to meet ‘the real D.W.’ they’ve read about,” he said. “To them it’s like meeting a celebrity.”
Lamar said he first got the idea to have Brown speak to students after stumbling across the “Arthur” website and finding out that Brown often visited schools.
“Many of the children at the schools I help don’t get the opportunity to meet authors or characters from books so I thought this would be a great idea,” he said.
“When I considered helping Phil Campbell, I tried to think of ways people hadn’t already helped and this program just seemed like the right answer. Phil Campbell has had enough bad breaks and it was time for a good break – for them to have something fun.”
PCES Principal Jackie Ergle said she was overwhelmed that a complete stranger would care enough about her school to pay for a program that would brighten the students’ day.
“Our motto is ‘Hand in hand together we can’ and Mr. Lamar is just one of those special people that reached out to our school,” Ergle said. “We don’t get this kind of an opportunity very often to have someone like this come to our school and talk to our students, so this was a great thing he did for us.”
Lamar said he was just glad to help and to be able to be the vessel God used to brighten someone’s day.
“People always want to thank me for what I’m doing, but I just play a small role in the big things God is doing.”