Can you believe that we are only seventeen days until the start of school in Shelby County? All across the city, empty schools are filling up as teachers and faculty are beginning their in-service days of professional development. Our very own partner schools in Binghampton, Cornerstone Prep and Lester Prep, have begun their in-service days and are in need of volunteer help by completing small tasks such as touching up paint and making copies around the school.
In the light of these small tasks, one might ask an important question. How does touching up paint on a wall further the Gospel? Does it really make a difference?
If you volunteered, here are three things to consider as you paint:
- You will be opening the door for relationships. It has often been said that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Taking on small tasks such as painting walls communicates to a staff that you are in support of their work. It shows them that you believe in the vision of urban education from the highest testing and curriculum being used to the smallest scuff on the wall. It shows the school that even though you don’t live in the community, work in the community, or send your kids to school there, you believe in their mission enough to partner with them. As you work alongside the faculty to prepare the school, you get a great chance to introduce yourself and learn the teacher’s stories without the chaos of a full classroom.
- You will be empowering teachers to focus on what they are called to do. Teaching is far from a nine to five job. Educators at Cornerstone are already working around the clock to prepare lessons for the upcoming year. Time used making copies or painting walls, things that the church can come alongside and do, pulls them away from preparing lessons and professional development, things that the church cannot do. It pulls administrators away from spending relational time with their new teachers. As a church, we can stand in the gap and do the things that the school doesn’t have the time to do, so that they are able to do the things that they are called to do.
- You will be building value into the students on their first day. Sociologists James Q. Wilson and George Kelling developed a theory in the 1980s that has since been named the “Broken Windows Theory”. In short, the two’s thesis is that disruption is a direct and inevitable result of disorder. If a window is broken and left unrepaired, it communicates to those passing by that no one cares. Soon, more will be broken and the signal will be communicated that “anything goes”. The same is true when a student sees a scuffed wall or messy school. As a church, we can communicate to the teachers and students a tangible picture that being a student and teacher at Cornerstone Prep is something of great value.
Would you consider taking an hour or two out of your day to help prepare Cornerstone Prep and Lester Prep for their school year? Volunteers are needed Monday-Fridays from 8-4 to come alongside teachers to help touch up paint on the walls, make copies, and file papers. If interested, contact Grant Caldwell for how to get connected!