On May 9, 2015, the HOLLA! Center of Morven, NC staged a 5K Walk/Run, as well as provided the kick-off location for “Florita Bell Griffin’s Little Flower International Cultural Art Project” of Houston, Texas.
Hundreds took advantage of the perfect weather and were on hand to support the literacy call to action. “This was a huge turnout,” said Starr Dove of Finish Well Timing, who handled timing for the event. There were 151 people who registered for timing bibs and another 300 who came out to show support by volunteering, or just walking for fun and give support to the cause of literacy.
The theme of the 5K Race, “Walk/Run into the Freedom of Literacy,” encapsulated the mission of both HOLLA! and Little Flower™.
According to HOLLA’s founder, Leon Gatewood, “the inclusion of Dr. Florita Bell Griffin, and the Little Flower Project as the HOLLA! 5K Presenter Sponsor, was an aligning of the stars.” He added, “the message of ‘Little Flower’ and its emphasis on literacy is completely aligned with the mission of HOLLA! We feel fortunate to provide the venue for this historic and symbolic launch.”
The non-profit organization HOLLA! and the HOLLA! Center provide a variety of services and programs that aid in increasing the test scores for children so that they are better equipped to make positive contributions to the community and society.
The inspiration for “Little Flower” which also means “Florita” in Spanish, came from Dr. Griffin’s husband, Dr. Richard W. Griffin, who insisted that his wife’s professional training, passion for children and her own life experiences uniquely qualified her to launch the ground-breaking initiative. “Little Flower” formally entered the development phase in 2013, following more than two decades of planning. With a mission to improve communications skills, through the use of the arts, the “Little Flower” project specifically addresses bullying and discrimination, as well as methods to minimize their negative impact on children. Using storytelling and artistic media, the project is designed to stimulate academic performance, foster self-esteem, create vision, and promote diversity in middle school students.
During the May 9th kick-off event, Dr. Griffin displayed various components of the Little Flower project that includes the collaborative work of over forty-five creative and business professionals from nine states and nine countries.
The “Little Flower” Storybook and and Educational Series component is loosely based on the life of the author. The series is dedicated to the memory of her deceased parents, the Rev. Asa L. Bell and Mrs. M.R.Bell.
100% of profits generated from all Little Flower products sold at the 5K Walk/Run were donated to the M. R. Bell Scholarship Fund at HOLLA! and to HOLLA!
HOLLA! founder Gatewood, and author Griffin grew up literally across the street from each other in Wadesboro, NC. The 5K Race was a reunion of sorts for community members who played a variety of pivotal roles in the event.