ALTON - The Alton Community Unit School District #11 Board of Education recognized Jaylah Chambers and Sophia Banks as March's Optimist Students of the Month during the Board’s regular meeting on March 19, 2024.

Dr. Cindy Inman, principal of Alton Middle School, introduced Jaylah Chambers and shared a few remarks from her teachers. Chambers has high grades and participates on the cheerleading team and track team.

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Jaylah Chambers“When Jaylah walks through the halls, this smile is always on her face. She always leads by example,” Inman said. “Jaylah is one strong and determined young lady.”

Chambers’s teachers noted that she is “a bright spot” in their day. She demonstrates perseverance, and she often helps her classmates when they have questions about the material. Her teachers said she is “a wonderful advocate for herself and her classmates.”

“When she sets out to achieve something, she never stops until the task is completed,” Inman added. “Jaylah is a star student both in and out of the classroom.”

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Chambers thanked her family for their support and for attending all of her sporting events. Optimist Students of the Month each receive a $25 gift card and can choose where to donate an additional $25. Chambers donated her money to the Alton Boys and Girls Club.

Latasha Leflore-Porter, principal of Lewis and Clark Elementary School, introduced Sophia Banks and noted that Banks is “absolutely fantastic.”

Sophia Banks“She is one of the hardest working and highest achieving students in her classroom,” Leflore-Porter said. “What stands out about Sophia most is not just her wonderful academics, but what she does for other people and how she cares so much about others.”

Banks often helps her classmates tear out pages from their notebooks, and she makes sure everyone in her group stays on the same page during reading time. She naturally takes initiative and helps her teacher prepare for the mornings. Banks said she enjoys coloring, crafting and spending time with her little brother.

“Everything about her is about helping people, and she is definitely a star student,” Leflore-Porter said.

Banks chose to donate her $25 to the 5A’s Animal Shelter in Alton.

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