Bott Memorial Presbyterian received a $4,000 grant from the peacemaking fund of Synod of the Mid-Atlantic this year to provide school supplies to children in Dinwiddie County.
The funds supported a project by the county’s faith community, local government, and schools to make education more equitable by providing incoming kindergarteners with crayons, pencils, scissors, and notebooks.
Purchasing school supplies for the first time can be overwhelming for families. Children also observe economic differences among their peers.
The “Learn Well” initiative, shared Pastor Katherine Jackson, reduces that burden on parents and guardians. It also helps the children have an equal start at learning, regardless of their families’ financial situations.
The idea began in 2017. Eight churches in the county collected $4,400 toward the nearly $8,000 needed for supplies for the 2018-2019 school year.
For the current school year, the churches raised $9,500, including the grant, and the project expanded to include children enrolled in the county preschool program, reaching 456 total.
Dinwiddie Public Schools made up the difference and purchased the items in bulk for cost efficiency.
Pastor Jackson hopes the project will expand with support from more churches in the coming years.
Ruling Elder CJ Gomez, Pastor Katherine Jackson, and member Elizabeth Walker are ready to distribute supplies to students at Sunnyside Elementary.