After an unusual year, a church in Suffolk resumed its annual back-to-school donation.
West End Baptist Church donates school supplies at the start of each school year. The church did this in a number of ways, including donating supplies to ForKids, donating supplies to the school, and donating a backpack to the church.
This year, at the suggestion of a member, the church wanted to do something different than in the past with this year’s donation. Judy Saunders, the organizer of the donation, came up with the idea of adopting a teacher to directly donate supplies and monetary donations.
“Our church is very dedicated to our community and to the schools of Suffolk,” said Reverend Dale Peterson, pastor of West End Baptist Church. “It was a great idea to adopt a teacher to put a face on the cash offering and collection. She can personally deliver supplies where she sees the need. “
The church chose Caren Bueshi at Elephant’s Fork Elementary, who had previously taught with Saunders. Bueshi is the school’s Title I reading specialist. She sits down with students who have difficulty reading to give them extra help so they can catch up with their peers.
“It was a pleasure to adopt Caren Bueshi as an adopted teacher,” Saunders said. “She is very deserving and we wanted to recognize her efforts and the positive difference she is making in the lives of so many children. Reading and books are fundamental for the development of a child’s language. Caren gives these children the greatest gift of all: the ability to read. “
With these supplies, Bueshi plans to create a store where students can earn tickets to be engaged and well behaved to redeem for the supplies. This will give students the pride of winning while highlighting and rewarding positive behavior.
“I am looking forward to setting up the store for students to earn and spend their earned tickets,” Bueshi said. “It will also teach them life skills such as saving and spending, as well as deferred gratification.”
According to the school principal, Dana Cherry Bilby, this goes hand in hand with one of the goals of Suffolk Public School to build relationships in the community. It’s acts like this on the part of community members who may have no connection to the schools personally that show educators in Suffolk that their community cares and supports them.
“It’s all about relationships,” Bilby said.
With this year’s success, West End Baptist looks forward to adopting more teachers in the years to come.