Partnering with Schools and Students
If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes many villagers to educate children. For more than 25 years, Jackson EMC has done its part by participating in the statewide Partners in Education (PIE) program.
“Jackson EMC’s partnership with schools shows students that we care about the importance of their education, and it shows the staff we back their efforts in educating children in the communities where we live and work,” says Jackson EMC District Secretary Melanie Berryman. “It gives us a chance to share and establish a better understanding of who we are and what Jackson EMC means to the community.”
In return, school staff and students help support Jackson EMC by providing snacks for employees or helping out with EMC functions like Annual Meeting, when Benton Elementary School students make table decorations and school faculty assist at our Kids Carnival.
Each Jackson EMC district office coordinates PIE programming with its partner school. Most partnerships include programs such as:
Read Across America Day, a national event wherein local employees visit schools and read to students.
National Teacher Day, during which Jackson EMC recognizes teachers by sending cards and gifts to celebrate their dedication to education.
Mini-grants, given to teachers who apply for a classroom need not funded in the school budget, such as new software programs, field trips, sports equipment and more.
Council Memberships, wherein Jackson EMC employees serve on school councils or in other leadership positions.
In Jefferson: While Jackson EMC works with school systems in Banks, Barrow and Jackson counties, it primarily partners with Benton Elementary School in Nicholson. Co-op employees tutor and read with students, serve as judges for the science fair, assist with field day and sponsor a teacher brunch. “This partnership benefits us because it makes kids aware that they mean something to us,” says PIE Coordinator Ganella Bolden.
In Gainesville: Jackson EMC partners with Lyman-Hall Elementary School in Gainesville. In addition to financial contributions, the co-op supports teachers in various ways, including an annual teacher appreciation breakfast. “As members of the community, participating in the community is important,” says PIE Coordinator Wanda Azpeitia. “Schools welcome businesses being involved and contributing to the education of students, and we’re happy to be a part of that.”
In Hull: Jackson EMC partners with Hull-Sanford Elementary School in Hull. Co-op employees treat teachers to an end-of-year luncheon and pick up Food2Kids bags from a local food bank and deliver these bags of food to the school where counselors give them to students who otherwise may go hungry over the weekend. “When we, as Jackson EMC employees, are called upon, we try to fill the needs as they arise,” says PIE Coordinator Brian Patton.
In Lawrenceville: Through PIE with Creekland Middle School in Lawrenceville, Jackson EMC benefits when treated twice yearly to breakfast and with student artwork to display at the co-op. In turn, Jackson EMC, along with other business partners, provides funding to support PIE’s mini-grant program. “If partners didn’t provide that money, it would either have to come out of teachers’ pockets or students would miss out on things that could benefit them,” says PIE Coordinator Ann Pierce.