Centertown United Methodist Church is holding a Community Connection Event this Friday, Aug. 19 at 5:30 p.m.
Church pastor Josh Newberry says the event is geared toward parents and guardians and for the educational benefit of Warren County students.
“Our intent and focus is twofold,” said Newberry. “First, the intent is to empower and equip parents/ guardians with the tools and resources they need in order to effectively, confidently, and intentionally engage with their students so the students can learn and grow. Secondly, the intent is strengthen the relationship and partnership between the school system and the parents/ guardians of our community.”
Presenters, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., will be Warren County Director of Schools Dr. Grant Swallows, Centertown Elementary School principal Pam Cowan, guidance counselor Dana Grissom, nurse Brittany McGee, teachers Heather Shehane and Melany Crothers, DeKalb Middle School principal Caleb Shehane, and The Voice Box owner and speech pathologist Carly Ratley.
These will be 15-minute sessions with five minutes between for transition time. Participants can choose whatever sessions will be helpful for them.
Sessions: What to expect in beginning school, what to expect in middle school, how to read with and engage with students at home, community and school resources, speech and language development, technology and parents (i.e. Skyward, communication with teachers, SchoolCash, etc.), school safety and bussing.
From 7:30 to 8 p.m., there will be a question and answer panel with all presenters.
Said Newberry, “I think the two biggest barriers to parents/ guardians being intentionally engaged in the education of their students are the fear of, for lack of a better term, looking like a fool in the eyes of the students and a lack of knowledge about the vast resources that are free and available to them and their students. Secondly, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say equally, there seems to be a chasm that has formed between parents/ guardians and the education system as a whole.”
Newberry said those barriers are not unique to the Centertown community nor to the Warren County School System.
“I believe this Community Connection Event can be the first step in a journey toward rebuilding the relationship, partnership, and trust between parents/ guardians and the school system here in Warren County, if we make the conscious choice to let it be,” said Newberry.
Newberry says this is not a church event with the goal of evangelism or getting people to join Centertown United Methodist Church. Instead, the hope is to launch similar events in communities across Warren County.
“This is not just for the Centertown community,” said Newberry. “Anyone and everyone is invited to come and participate. I hope that teachers and administrators from other schools will come and participate as well.”
Friday’s event will also provide a free Safety and Car Seat Checkpoint, free child care, free spaghetti dinner and free outdoor movie.
Centertown United Methodist Church is located at 335 West Green Hill Road and can be reached at (931) 939-3701.