Mississippi Association of Partners in Education #PartnershipPower
2014 Partnership Excellence Award
Woodley Elementary School (Hattiesburg Public School District) and Parkway Heights United Methodist Church
Duration of partnership - 9 years 125 volunteers 155 students impacted
Woodley Elementary School's partnership with Parkway Heights has continued to flourish over the past nine years. And they are no strangers to our partnership award program, having won Partnership Excellence awards in 2011 and 2013.
Parkway Heights provides a variety of services to the Woodley family. After last year’s tornado, Parkway Heights restocked and organized the school's clothing closet and collected new undergarments for tornado victims. At the beginning of each school year, book bags filled with school supplies are donated to students to ensure that everyone has what they need for class. Parkway Heights also donates books to the school, and each student gets to pick out a book to own. Every August, Parkway Heights invites teachers to a “Back to School Breakfast” at the church to show their appreciation and to motivate teachers for the upcoming academic year.
Nutrition plays a major role in students' ability to concentrate and learn, but unfortunately, many children do not have access to a consistent diet of healthy food. About three years ago, Parkway Heights founded the “Beyond the Lunch Table” program, which provides weekly food assistance for about 80 students to prevent hunger over the weekend. More than 5,000 meals have been distributed so far.
At the end of every school year, Parkway Heights sponsors a PBIS program, which stands for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support. The program creates incentives for students who exhibit positive behavior all year. Parkway Heights volunteers also prepared the playground for the opening of school. And each Christmas, 12 families from the church donate gifts to 12 needy families from the school.
Last summer, Belk Department Store partnered with Parkway Heights for their 125 days of service campaign. Volunteers came to the school to build shelves for the clothing closet, set up picnic tables on the school grounds, and paint murals to beautify school interiors. Even young members from the church contributed to the partnership last summer by opening a lemonade stand and having a bake sale, with all proceeds donated to the Woodley-Parkway Heights partnership.
In so many ways, the members of Parkway Heights have been instrumental in helping build morale at Woodley Elementary for students, teachers, staff members and families.