While looking for more ways to serve their local community, members of Silver Spring (Md.) Christian Reformed Church decided to hold a teacher appreciation breakfast for staff at the local public school, Arcola Elementary.
The church has been involved with the neighborhood school for a few years through Kids Hope USA, but Brenda Vos, local Kids Hope coordinator, and Jennifer Renkema from the church’s social justice committee wanted to do more.
Vos, Renkema, and pastor Doug Bratt met with the assistant principal and guidance counselor at Arcola and decided an appreciation breakfast would be a good place to start.
“One thing we learned,” Renkema said, “is that the teachers need encouragement. Many of the students have a lot of academic as well as social needs; many come from homes where English is a second language.”
Vos, who made sure to invite the entire Arcola staff and not just those that work with Kids Hope, said, “We wanted to thank them for going above and beyond to make the most of the education their students are receiving.”
Over 100 people showed up to the breakfast, and despite the flurry that comes with the beginning of a school day, Arcola teachers and church members were able to chat over muffins and coffee cake.
One teacher said that her interaction with the children at Arcola has brought her joy. The Kids Hope mentors agree. “We love having the opportunity to work with these kids,” Vos said.