The Jack Hardy Memorial Educational Service Award is given annually by the Texarkana Arkansas School District to a person who has given of him -or herself through volunteer work. The award is named after a dedicated TASD volunteer named Jack Hardy.
We have presented many deserving volunteers with this award throughout past years, and this year is no exception. Our 2017 Jack Hardy Award recipient is Mr. James Harris. Mr. Harris volunteered for the Texarkana Arkansas School District for the past three years and is a member of the VIPS (Volunteers In Public Schools) committee. His time and financial contributions to the school and students are unsurpassed.
Mr. Harris is a strong advocate for reading excellence and positive reinforcement. He monitors AR reports for student achievements and rewards the students who meet their goals through-out the year. It is also not uncommon to finish the year with a pizza and coke party for students meeting their year-end goals; all provided by Mr. Harris personally. Another one of Mr. Harris’ volunteer projects was to organize a library for each fifth and sixth grade Literacy teacher by processing almost 3,000 books.
For the past two years, Mr. Harris has helped produce the Thanksgiving Reading Theater. In addition to production, he also built the props each year. We have actually benefited from his excellent wood working skills many times. As part of a PBL project, Mr. Harris built a travois, which is a wooden sled used by American Indians, for the students’ racing games at their Colonial Field Day. He also made the students wooden whirligigs for field day games. In addition, he built two wooden structures for a previous Jack Hardy banquet.
Last year, Mr. Harris spent time with the students working on wilderness survival and food recipes used by the American Indians. Mr. Harris constantly rewards the students’ positive behavior by purchasing and delivering treats and prizes through- out the year. If he is not contributing rewards or building a project, he can be found in the classroom cleaning, organizing, or repairing something. Mr. Harris is a remarkable volunteer and has dedicated a considerable amount of time and money to our school and our students. He is an immeasurable presence in our district and we are proud to name Mr. James Harris as our Jack Hardy Award recipient.