08/18/05 — Churches treat some schools' staffs to first-day breakfast

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Churches treat some schools' staffs to first-day breakfast

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 18, 2005 1:53 PM

Several community churches treated some Wayne County's teachers and staff to a back-to-school breakfast this morning in honor of their first official step back into the classroom.

It was an opportunity for pray for the educators, encourage them and send them into the school year on a positive note, said Thelma Smith, a Board of Education member who touted the idea after one church introduced it last year.

"Best Grove Missionary Baptist Church started it last year for Tommy's Road Elementary and Goldsboro High School staff," she said. "I was there.

"It was such a success and such a positive thing, I felt like it sent a great message to the teachers, saying 'We're behind you, we support you, the churches are with you.'"

Mrs. Smith has mentioned the idea at several school board meetings since, hoping area churches would take on the challenge and back the schools.

"For everybody we asked, they have been excited," she said. "Maybe we just don't ask enough of people. Maybe they're willing to do for people, if we just ask."

This morning, five local churches served a hot breakfast to educators from schools near them. First African Baptist Church provided breakfast for Carver Heights Elementary School, Mount Calvary Baptist served the staff of North Drive Elementary, St. Mark's Disciple Church served Dillard Middle, St. James AME Zion served School Street Elementary and Best Grove served Goldsboro High.

On Friday morning, there are plans for the staff of Goldsboro Middle School to have breakfast at Antioch Baptist Church. Best Grove will again play host to staff from Tommy's Road Elementary, but the date has not been determined, Mrs. Smith said.

She said the concept is an important one, despite concerns over separation of church and state.

"There's nothing wrong with supporting parents and schools," she said. "We talk about the community; this is part of the community. Students and parents go to these churches.

"It sends a very positive message to the students and teachers. We hope it's going to send a message to other churches, to think about doing this."

At St. James AME this morning, Willa Durham supervised a crew of nearly a dozen woman who arrived before 7:30 to begin cooking.

One member, Edith Everette, called the occasion an opportunity to give something back to the teachers and the schools.

"There's a better relationship between the children and the parents (if we) show our teachers we appreciate them for taking care of our children," she said.

During a brief rally and prayer meeting before breakfast was served, Carrie Everette told the gathering that the church was there for them with open arms, waiting to be of service.

"We are already collecting supplies so that all the children can have pencils and paper," she said. "Know that we're here; know that we care; and most of all, know that we love you."