River Springs Church: Adopt-A-Teacher
River Springs Church is doing an incredible job serving four schools in their community. This congregation of about 120 in weekly attendance has 20 volunteers who give their time to help serve students and teachers. They began providing weekend food for students through their “snackpack” program twelve years ago. Prior to the pandemic, they were serving 60 students in three schools once a week. Federal funding reduced those numbers during the pandemic, so they are now serving 28 students a week, but they see those numbers rising. All students receiving weekend food have been identified as transitionally homeless, whether they are “couch hopping” or living in a hotel. These meals are a lifeline to these students and families.
After learning more about Heart4Schools, Terry Adkins has worked to create a true partnership with two of their local schools. They have written notes of encouragement to teachers and provided coffee and donuts at the end of the school year (for administrative staff, teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, and SRO officers). This event led to an opportunity to pray with a few staff members. They began this year by supporting teachers with a school supply drive and a Chick-fil-A luncheon. They have also collected belts for one of their schools that requires school uniforms.
Church members are really excited to have the opportunity to “Adopt-A-Teacher”. When Terry asked administrators if they had teachers who would be interested in participating, 42 responded positively. Church members are committed to staying connected with their teacher throughout the year through emails, cards of encouragement, giving a special gift or gift bag on special occasions – or “just because”, dropping off a sweet treat, and creatively celebrating birthdays. They will also offer to help in their classroom or do offsite classroom work and help with classroom wish lists. Volunteers are already building relationships with just a few weeks of connecting!