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6-24-17

Youth learn how to build a better world


Children meet on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. at the Madison Public Library to Build a Better World. The Greenville Summer Program for children now meets each Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. -Photo by Marianne Graves


By Mraianne Graves


The Summer Reading Library Program at the Greenville Public Library began with a powerful talk on June 16 from three-time author, Marvin “Merv” Mattair, who is the Madison founder of the community service organization called Boyz to Kings.


“Who’s happy with the way Greenville is right now? What can you do to make Greenville better?” asked Mattair.
One young man said he’d study to encourage more stores to open in Greenville and a young lady agreed that this would make the city a better place to live. Another youth said he will cut anybody’s yard in Greenville to improve the area. All agreed this would improve morale.


“It’s easy to complain about something when you’re not putting forth the effort to fix it. Right now if there’s a leak in that ceiling, but you don’t put forth the effort to fix it, what’s going to happen?” asked Mattair. “Eventually it’ll fall apart and it’ll be abandoned.”


Mattair said that teenagers of the past have changed society by taking action. He encouraged the Greenville youth that they are not too young to make a difference in their community and elsewhere.


Greenville Library Manager, Kenya Dennis said, “I absolutely loved Merv Mattair’s presentation. It was short, sweet and engaging. I loved seeing the kids positive, excited and I actually learned a little history from them.”


Build a Better World is the Suwannee River Regional Library System’s summer theme for teens and children, which includes dynamic guest speakers, building projects, music, Fun Days featuring a room full of games and suggested books to read. There is no charge to attend the weekly programs.


Merv Mattair was invited to speak at the Greenville teen program last Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. for the kickoff session of Blueprints for Leadership. The topic was Logo Design: many businesses have changed their logos and simplified them through the years. Mattair got right to the heart of the matter.


“I take pride in young people. I have a daughter who is 21 years-old in college. She is doing great things because she was given the tools at a young age to build her life. I’m going to give you something – knowledge is not power,” he stated. “Applied knowledge is power. Apply what we give you today.”


Mattair developed an acronym for the word Logo and asked the youth what each letter in this word means in relationship to the theme, Build a Better World. He said the letter L stands for Love – the Golden Rule: do to others as you would have them do to you. Respect parents, teachers and other adults in your life. “If you’re hurting people intentionally, that’s not love,” he said.


The letter O in Logo stands for being Original. “You are all you need,” said Mattair. “Don’t do what other folks are doing. Do something original and apply it to your community. Be creative!”


Mattair said the G in Logo stands for Game Changer: “There’s no more time to be mediocre. Change the game; be that person. People are going to talk about you until the day you die. If you’re afraid, it’s not going to work. Take the risk while you’re still young.”


The final letter O in Logo stands for the word Optimistic, explained Mattair: “This means you think highly about what you’re doing. Whatever you’re going to do will be a success. Pessimistic means, ‘I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I can change Greenville.’”


Mattair’s final question: “Is it possible to change Greenville?” The correct answer was “yes” based on love, coming up with original ideas to help, being a game changer and staying optimistic.


“Never quit,” said Mattair, who is a best-selling author with Amani Publishing in 2007-2008 for his book Word to My Kings and Queens, a radio personality, philanthropist and certified Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist to young audiences. To book a presentation by Mattair, contact Cindy Vees and Associates online.

Marvin Mattair, author and founder of Boyz to Kings. -Photo: Submitted

“Treat people right. Love ‘em, you’ll be all right,” concluded Mattair. He is the founder of Boyz to Kings, a group of community men who mentor teens and boys to give back to their community. They do yardwork and build ramps at no charge for senior citizens and the disabled.

The teens attending this Greenville Library event received their Summer Reading Log Books folder last Friday for the next five weeks. Upcoming events this summer include Chalk Poetry on the Library sidewalk for teens, putting poems to guitar music, a demonstration of Stop Motion Storytelling and special guests Angela Watson and Erica Lewis of Madison Blue Spring State Park talk about building projects at the Park and Junior Ranger Program events.

Check dates at your local library for details.



Captain Character from Jacksonville kicked off the June-July Summer Reading Library Program. -Photo by Marianne Graves