Mount Pisgah Develops Strong Partnership With Nearby Elementary School

8/5/2014

Francella Perryman being interviewed about Mount Pisgah's successful partnership with Hillside Elementary

Francella Perryman, Director of Local Outreach at Mount Pisgah UMC in Johns Creek, was invited last spring to the Fulton County Schools Faith Summit where she was a panelist discussing the importance of faith institutions supporting schools in their community.

Perryman was asked to address the meeting of local public schools and faith leaders because Mount Pisgah is an example of how churches and schools can successfully partner. Perryman discussed easy ways for faith institutions to get involved and emphasized that it doesn’t have to take a lot of money, there just has to be a desire to "get off the bench and get in the game."

"Mount Pisgah strives to be a launching pad to service and is focused on spreading the good news to 'Love God, Love People,'" said Perryman. "To partner with our local elementary school was a natural choice."

Hillside Elementary is located just a few miles from the church and has an involved PTA that includes members of Mount Pisgah.

Individual church members were doing small incremental tasks to assist the school, however, Perryman felt that the church could do more.

Dr. Otway, the principal of Hillside Elementary, was new to this role and she, too, saw an opportunity for partnership with the church. The two sat down together and discussed the needs of the school and the resources of the church. Ongoing conversation led to inspiration and opportunities. Over the past two years, Mount Pisgah and Hillside Elementary have grown their partnership. Some of the programs include:
 
Mt Pisgah Tutoring - Tutoring during lunch that matches Hillside's school improvement plan needs. This was initiated by the PTA and continues today.

PisgahKids - Mentoring program that supports families in and out of school. That also includes tutoring during lunch, outside outings and support to the families. PisgahKids mentoring program is different from many other mentoring programs as it includes the entire family.

Bus transportation - Mount Pisgah allows the school to utilize its busses to transport families to evening events and parent conferences. This has drastically improved attendance and allowed parents without transportation to become more active in their children’s educational growth.

Soccer Clinic - The Mount Pisgah Christian School Girls Soccer team came to Hillside Elementary last year and lead an after school Soccer Clinic. Juice and snacks were provided. This was a fun opportunity for children to just hang out and enjoy spending time with members of the Mount Pisgah Family. 

Back to School Party - A fun welcome back party for Hillside families with burgers, bouncy houses and free back packs.

Christmas support - During the month of December, many parents find it difficult to afford gifts and many children go without. Hillside Elementary’s staff selects students and verifies their needs with parents. This is completely voluntary support should the parents decide to be part of it. The staff then communicate needs with Mount Pisgah. Mount Pisgah facilitates a Christmas party where the children are given donated gifts (put together by the congregation), cookies and punch and hear the true story of Christmas.


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