Underneath the impressive statistics, informative facts and awesome awards we often convey when sharing CCSD news, it might interest you to know there is a whole other world of caring that plays a crucial role in student achievement districtwide. Every school, no matter its demographic, depends upon tiers of support, often from thoughtful, dedicated and selfless people in the community–corporate, individual, civic and faith-based friends—who work hard to identify the unique needs of their school partners and the students they’ve pledged to assist.
Along with the organized PTSAs, foundations, and existing parent groups, it’s these volunteers who organize, plan and make amazing things happen for families in need around the district. Whether addressing basic issues like hunger, donating luxuries like technology, or supporting families going through medical challenges, our community volunteers in so many cases step in quietly and without fanfare to provide. The many hours they dedicate and the results they produce could fill volumes.
In a district as large and diverse as Cobb’s, there are bound to be some issues with hunger. Often it is on the weekends or at certain times each month. No matter the circumstances, Cobb’s angels of many stripes have spread their wings to cover the families in need.
The ubiquitous MUST Ministries has continued to open food pantries in many schools, including but not limited to Green Acres Elementary School, Hollydale Elementary School, and Lindley Sixth Grade Academy. At Garrett Middle School, Social Worker Linda Hobson reports its MUST pantry, now open for a second year, launched at a critical time and gratitude is abundant among Garrett families.
Area churches and civic groups have been active as well in alleviating weekend needs by presenting “Backpack Blessings” or “Backpack Buddies,” a pack sent home with kids each Friday, filled with a variety of nutritional food items so no kid goes hungry. At this time, here are just a few of our helping hands:
–Acworth United Methodist Church partners with Argyle Elementary.
-The American Legion Post 264 assists Riverside Primary School.
-Due West United Methodist partners with Clarkdale Elementary.
–Mosaic Church assists Lindley Middle School.
–Mt. Paran Church works with Green Acres and Belmont Hills.
–Woodstock Church in Austell assists Austell Elementary.
And St. Anne’s Catholic Church works with LaBelle Elementary, even providing holiday backpacks for EVERY student at the school!
Amazing things can happen when our partners see a need and run with an idea! That happened recently when Frey Elementary students were gifted with over $80,000 in new tech tools for their classrooms through the generosity of local families and small businesses with giving spirits and dedication to tech. Because of these enterprising volunteers, students at Frey are well on their way toward their 2020 goals!
Mentoring and Inspiring
Building positive school cultures depends a lot on mentors, and Cobb is blessed to have the interest and inspiration of a number of generous volunteers in this area. Belmont Hills Elementary, for example, looks forward each year to the Smyrna Police Department’s Annual Beard Competition, a fun way for officers to inspire students in conjunction with their fundraising and the year-round treat: reading time with students.
At Nickajack Elementary, Cobb Mentoring Matters’ Scott Tasker, also the owner of North Metro Martial Arts, runs twice weekly martial arts classes through the After School Program. The structure and discipline conveyed by Tasker inspires responsibility and respect, working towards Nickajack’s “B3 Initiative” — To Be a Better Brave!
Corporate and civic volunteers continue to embody the spirit of the vibrant Cobb community, stepping up for student success. Food, technology, supplies, books, field trips, teacher incentives, and even school beautification projects are just a taste of the amazing contributions that have helped break down barriers to learning. Here are just a few of the good folks who bring Cobb’s Caring to life:
The Acworth Business Association
Austell Community Collaborative
Barnes and Noble
City of Austell
Communities in Schools
C & S Paving
Greystone Power Corp.
And Cobb Horizon High School’s newest partner for 2020: Families First.
If your business or group is looking to partner with your local school or even one that’s not so local, contact the Cobb Schools Foundation at www.cobbschoolsfoundation.org.