August 2, 2018
MEETING A NEED — Member of Connection Pointe Church fulfill the wish lists of the 60-plus teachers at Clarence Farringtion School 61.
Community partnerships matter — just ask the staff at Clarence Farrington School 61.
For the last seven years, Connection Pointe Christian Church in Brownsburg and Clarence Farrington have worked together to serve the needs of not only the students but also parents, teachers and staff.
On Thursday, August 1, church members came through again — a few days before the start of another school year — during the school’s annual teacher retreat.
More than $55,000 worth of classroom and school-related items were revealed, from laser and photo printers, to desk chairs, speakers, school supplies and clothes for students, to teaching games, a Shop-Vac and even a park bench.
In all, more than 500 items for the school’s 60-plus teachers were donated by members of the church. Donations averaged about $1,000 per teacher.
It was like Christmas in August!
“It’s such a joy to receive these gifts because I’m a single mom and I don’t have the money to put things like this into my classroom, so any help is always appreciated,” said fifth-grade teacher Bari Sargent.
When most public-school teachers, including those throughout the country, struggle to supply classroom needs using their own money, Connection Pointe’s members help fill the gaps.
Teachers submitted their wish list via cards at the end of last school year, each asking for five items. Church members chose the card of the teacher they wanted to sponsor.
“A lot of things they’re getting from this community partner, they can’t afford themselves. We buy a lot of pens and paper, but when it comes to the big-ticket items, our teachers just can’t afford those things,” said Principal Jona Adkins.
Buddy Faulkner, impact director at Connection Pointe, said they are simply filling a need and working to help teachers be successful.
“We noticed there were a lot of concerns in this community and we started to think, ‘How can we reach out?’ One of the things we found quickly is that the average teacher in that school spends about $700 a year out of pocket on their school supplies,” said Faulkner. “So, we thought about how we could supplement that and how we could come along side and help them with that.”
In addition to the gifts, the church also sponsors Family Night on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and offers tutoring, dance and karate classes for students. It also provides an onsite food pantry at the school for those in need of extra assistance.
Without Connection Pointe’s generosity, Adkins said, “we’d be struggling. Not only do they offer things, but they offer a lot of volunteer hours.”
Overall, Faulkner said it’s really not about the material things the church provides that matters — although that helps. Instead, “it’s about the relationships and letting them know that we care about them, we support them and we appreciate what they do for the community.”