SVEC members honor Lorraine Powers as November "Who Powers You" winner
“Frances Lorraine Powers — a gentle ‘Bundle of Energy’ just turned 90. For many years a most dedicated Teacher Assistant at South Pittsburg Elementary, she provided after school help with homework at her church. This service grew rapidly and with the help of local businesses and clubs developed into a free after school program in its own facility. The EYES program has touched many children. So successful it ran through summer months with meals and field trips in addition to the school months tutoring. ”
— June Moss,
from her nomination form
In recognition of her many years devoted to the young people of South Pittsburg, both in the school system and through the “Educating Youth Ensures Success” (EYES) program, Lorraine Powers has been selected as the November SVEC “Who Powers You” winner
Lorraine Powers — The Facts
• Lorraine Powers grew up in Hawkins County — Rogersville, TN. She finished high school there and two years at Morristown college before marrying Monroe Powers. The couple and their three small children moved to South Pittsburg in the early 1960s and live there still.Through the years their family expanded to five boys and three girls. “They probably thought they had the meanest mama ever,” she said. “I always made them read and do their homework before they could do anything else. I always said ‘If you can read you can go anywhere, do anything.’ That is what I still tell the children in our EYES program.”
• Powers worked in Hawkins County as a teacher assistant for 10 years before moving to South Pittsburg where she worked full time from 1965 to 1985. She then stayed on working as a substitute teacher until 2015. “ I just love it! I would still be doing it if they would let me,” the ninety year old dynamo exclaimed.
• The EYES program which Powers runs began as a program for the youth of her church, Brakebill AME Zion to help them with their homework and to improve their reading skills. “We started with just a few in a basement Sunday School room. Then the word got out in the community and about filled up the sanctuary! We had to find a bigger place, using the community room at Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative for over a year,” Powers said.
Their current building at Moore Park became available in about 1999 and has operated out of the City of South Pittsburg-owned building ever since. “The community really supports the program. Every thing we have here has been given to us. We have hardly anything that is new, but the kids will find a way to use it. Don’t tell me you can’t make do with used things. We are a regular recycling shop over here. The children love it so much here many of them don’t want to go home. We feed them and help them with their homework and reading. Sometimes we are here until 9:00 or 10:00 at night. I also love that we provide jobs for local students planning to go to college to help them with their education. Some people tell me I’m crazy to still be doing this but I love it,” said Powers.
• If you would like to donate time, money or supplies for the program contact Lorraine Powers at EYES, P.O Box 29, South Pittsburg, TN 37380.