Back-to-School Made Easier with Community Support

Back-to-School Made Easier with Community Support
Posted on 07/29/2019
School suppliesHere's a sampling of some of the events taking place across the county in support of schools starting on August 5.

SHARON -- As an example of one of the many ways needs are met at Sharon School, principal Michelle Clements pointed to a social media post that was made last week announcing that Victory Baptist Church will be giving out free school supplies for Sharon School students August 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (while supplies last).

“I’m grateful that the Sharon community has consistently made sure that none of our 200 students goes without supplies or other items each year,” she said. Such support is an example of the positivity that Clements and the faculty are promoting this year.

To get the year off on a colorful, upbeat note, they are inviting the community to Chalk the Walk with positive messages during Registration on July 31. Chalk will be provided.

DRESDEN ELEMENTARY-- Dresden Elementary has an ongoing way to ensure students have the supplies required. A recent Facebook post encouraged, those buying school supplies to pick up a few extra items to re-stock Mr. Laughrey’s Locker. This program provides school supplies for students who may not have what they need at school.

“Our previous principal, Mr. Michael Laughrey, retired at the end of the 2017-18 school year. The PTO established ‘Mr. Laughrey's Locker’ last year in his honor,” explained current principal Melanie Needham. “Whether an extra pack of pencils or an entire backpack of supplies, we are so appreciative of the individuals, businesses, and churches who donated to this project.”

Needham also shared details regarding two upcoming back-to-school events for families. A Family Movie Night will be held at the Farmers Market on August 17 when it’s dark enough for projection, around 8:30 p.m. This event is co-sponsored by Dresden Elementary PTO and the City of Dresden.

A Classroom Open House and hot dog supper is scheduled for Monday, August 26.

GLEASON – After students register on Wednesday, July 31, some may make a stop at God’s Clothes Closet. The uniquely named ministry of Gleason First United Methodist Church has evolved from a means of sharing clothes with those in need in the Gleason community to a school-focused provider of school uniforms.

Kim Montgomery, the coordinator of the church’s food pantry, initiated the clothes distribution ten years ago. When the county moved to requiring school uniforms, they shifted their attention to collecting jeans, khaki pants, polos, shoes and belts for junior high and high school students.

Montgomery says members of the church donate the items or provide financial contributions to cover the costs of providing whatever is needed for between 20-40 children each year.

Volunteers help sort and label as well as assist the youth on registration day. Students must be present to try on the gently used and/or new items.

“We keep the clothing that is left over and throughout the school year if a need arises, I will find the appropriate piece,” Montgomery explained.

Several donations of school supplies have also been received this year, including a large donation from Imerys Clay Company and Gleason’s Dollar General Store. The only item Montgomery sees as being in short supply are Gleason Bulldog apparel items.

“I do think that this year with such a good turn out from our church members and the Clay Company we’ll be able to cover all the children who arrive,” she said.

First United Methodist, 102 Church Street, will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday to receive students after they have registered.

As for other activities taking place in Gleason, on Thursday, August 1 at 6:30 p.m. a 6th grade orientation night is planned. A school-wide open house is scheduled for 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6.

ALL SCHOOLS – We Care Ministries has school supplies available for kindergarten through 12th grade and polo shirts for families in need. Retired school teachers volunteer to assist the students to find the items needed. The program began on Monday and will continue on Thursday, August 1, at 530 North Lindell Street in Martin.

Parents should contact We Care at 731-587-6257 for an appointment time. To utilize the assistance program, students must be present and families must provide a school list, proof of address, and social security cards for students over the age of 18 who are applying.