Church/School Partnership for Children in Poverty in Tulsa, OK

When you affect a child's life in a positive manner, you build their self-esteem, especially a child that is challenged with the struggle of poverty.
Hawthorne Elementary School's demographics' consist of 568 students with 95% of them being African American and 5% others. Hawthorne is located in a high poverty area. Lots of crime, drugs, and, gangs. These students are exposed to robbery in their homes, police officers kicking in the door, and young students being used to run drugs for gang members.
We have students that are on the Food for Kids Program that consists of families taking home backpacks full of food on each Friday. This is provided by the Tulsa Food Bank. Hawthorne also offers free breakfast/lunch for every child. We feel that children that eat well will do better in school. They will also feel better and look better. Holsey Chapel CME Church (Tulsa, OK) has been partners with Hawthorne Elementary School for the last 7 years. The church gives roughly 2,014 volunteer hours per year. This church is very influential at Hawthorne. Holsey has come in and touched these students in many ways. They have male mentors that have guided our young boys to a better way of life. There is a volunteer who serves as a greeter in the school parking lot each morning to open the car doors for the students and bid them good morning. This shows our students leadership ability and parking lot etiquette. Our students need so many opportunities to see that there is a different way of life outside of their community. Some of the other ways that Holsey Chapel CME Church has been ready to lend a hand to our Community School is:
  • Testing week - volunteering for a week of monitoring and encouraging the students to do their best before the test began.
  • Teacher appreciation week - providing meals a couple days a week for the staff
  • Christmas donations / Christmas classroom monitors - assisting were needed
  • Office volunteer- when needed
  • Back to School Night - 6 to 8 volunteers to handle T-shirt give away for students (each child receiving 2 shirts each)
  • Donations every year - socks, hats, scarfs, gloves, underwear, t-shirts and school supplies.
And all these things are done to help children in poverty see that there is a different world outside of their community. And that we as the light of God here on this earth shine and be examples of God's love here at Hawthorne Elementary Community School.
Robin Taylor, Counselor, Hawthorne Elementary Community School
Holsey Chapel CME Church is in Tulsa, OK; telephone: (918) 425-6151
 
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Trusting in God, we dare to envision a world in which every child experiences love, care, and hope. Together we can be the difference in the lives of children in poverty.

 

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