Mississippi Association of Partners in Education #PartnershipPower
2011 Partnership Excellence Award Woodley Elementary and
Parkway Heights United Methodist Church
The Hattiesburg Public School District’s formalized process
of seeking adopters and partners is known as HALO, or Hattiesburg’s Ambassadors
for Learning Opportunities. We actively seek school-community partnerships with
businesses, civic organizations, school districts, faith-based organizations
and others that will make investments in the lives of our students.
In the fall of 2006 the church’s leadership felt a call to
reach out to Woodley Elementary to develop ties with children, the school
administration and teachers. What followed was a steady groundswell which began
with simple recognition of teachers and students. Dr. Eddie Rester, lead
pastor, Rev. Julie Collins, along with Rev. Julian Davis, outreach pastor,
facilitate the partnership process each year. All stakeholders participate in a
planning meeting for the upcoming school year every May.
Woodley is under the leadership of Felicia Morris,
principal, and her assistant principal, Van Jones. She is serving her second
year as principal and has seen the partnership grow, strengthen and strive over
the years. She and her staff view Parkway Heights as an integral part of the
teaching and learning process that happens each and every day at Woodley.
Duration of partnership: 5 years 75+ volunteers Impacts 386 students
Partnership supports Fall Carnival, Field Day, science fairs, teacher
appreciation events, campus beautification. Donates uniforms, clothing,
eyeglasses and supplies for teachers and students. Sponsors three book distributions
annually as part of DREAM’s Reading is Fundamental program. Provides volunteers
to assist with reading curriculum in K-2 classes. Launched “Beyond the Lunch
Table” backpack food program.
presence of church volunteers in school as math, reading tutors. “Beyond the
Lunch Table” sparking interest from other churches and community groups.
Positive impact on physical, emotional and financial well-being of students.