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Grace Church and Adelaide Elementary build a beautiful partnership
By Denise C. Koenig, Special to The Mirror
Many people spend the Friday evening of the three-day Labor Day weekend leaving town or planning fun for the last few official days of the summer break.
On Sept. 3, a three-way partnership helped the students of Adelaide Elementary School start the weekend a little differently. The staff, PTA, and volunteers from Grace Church (on Dash Point) enjoyed a family friendly evening.
Festivities started with dinner for the estimated 300 students and parents in attendance. Kids, moms, dads, brothers and sisters enjoyed barbecued hot dogs, chips and drinks on the lawn behind the classrooms.
Since the weather cooperated beautifully, after dinner the kids enjoyed games, including the traditional sack and relay races, crafts, chalk art, and a watermelon-eating contest.
The three-way partnership between church, school parents and staff helped “engage families and community,” said principal Ann Gray. “The support and sense of community is incredible, and we can’t do it alone.”
The event was turn-key. When Ms. Gray asked what she could do to help, she said the volunteers replied, “nothing.” The set-up, dinner and preparations were already well in hand.
PTA president Angel Cowen, her husband, Doug, and daughter Riley were manning one of two popcorn-making stands. Her favorite part of the evening was “the teamwork.” Parents appreciate having fun with their kids in a safe, protected environment.
After the games, everyone donned light jackets and sat together on the grass to munch on popcorn and watch “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” on three blow-up screens.
The entire event was free to parents, students and the school. The Grace Church members’ contributions helped cover the cost of supplies and food.
Fifth-grade students Amy and Melanie came with Melanie’s family to enjoy the evening. While munching on hot dogs, they said they came because it was a “family thing.”
Event organizers, Pastor Jon and Wendy McIntosh, conclude: “We’re here to serve the community and its needs. Our church family believes this is part of our mission. Adelaide is closest to our church campus, and we’ve had a relationship with them for several years. This was something we wanted to do for the students and their families."