Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Tates Creek Christian Church provides Julius Marks backpacks through new partnership
About 250 students at Julius Marks Elementary will start school with new backpacks courtesy of friends at nearby Tates Creek Christian Church.
The donation came as a surprise to Krista Mason, the school’s Family Resource Center coordinator, who will distribute the packs and school supplies. She arrived one day last week to find backpacks piled high and spilling out of her office.
“The generosity was overwhelming. It was amazing that the church provided our children with so many,” Mason said.
Guidance counselor Bethany Dewsnap had arranged the delivery.
“Every teacher she invited down to see the backpacks didn’t jump up with excitement – they broke down in tears, just overwhelmed that someone cares. I know it’s making a difference,” said Matt Lee, children’s minister at Tates Creek Christian.
Supportive community members provide substantial time, funds and other resources to students, teachers and schools through hundreds of partnerships, mentorships, programs and initiatives in Fayette County Public Schools. Participants include faith-based organizations, businesses, civic clubs, post-secondary education institutions, government and nonprofit agencies, charitable organizations, individual volunteers, PTAs and other parent groups.
Dewsnap knew Lee through his own children, who attend Julius Marks, and she initiated the school’s partnership with his church. Back in May, church members planted a garden on campus and brought care packages for Teacher Appreciation Week. Along with the students’ backpacks, binders, pencil boxes, crayons, markers and glue sticks, the church also donated classroom supplies to help 30 teachers kick-start this school year.
“I hope they feel like they’re not alone. That’s the biggest thing – just to know there’s somebody out there who cares,” Lee said.
He noted that the congregation also is full of useful resources for elementary classes, such as the member who travels the world studying and photographing insects.
“We’re excited that the door’s open for the church to connect with the students,” Lee said. “We just want to be there to encourage kids.”