Monday November 4, 2019

Individuals, group show support for John Marshall students

When a focused plan comes together, good things happen. The room wasn’t packed, but quality vs. quantity prevailed in the group of people who showed up for the John Marshall Middle School Community Night event last week. The commitment and passion for kids was clear.

School and district leaders, teachers, parents and community members gathered to discuss specific school needs and shared ideas about how to best put time, talent and treasure into supporting John Marshall Middle School students.

A group of ladies, most of them Oklahoma City Public Schools graduates as well as parents or grandparents of John Marshall students, were on hand to sign up members for the new PTSA they are developing. They had their table decorated for fall, complete with a bowl of candy and a goal of engaging parents in their important work.

North Church provided a table full of food for attendees to enjoy and many members of the faith based community were represented, including Crossings Church, Chapel Hill Methodist Church, People’s Church and Britton Church. Members of the community who provide services to youth were there to discuss ways they can help, from mentoring programs to music and art programs.

OKCPS Teacher of the Year Christina Kirk was there. Even with her extremely busy schedule, she has already spent time at the school volunteering. The incoming Oklahoma State Teacher of the Year, Jena Nelson, was also in attendance and shared her desire to help students throughout the state.

Principal Michael Harris shared details about the school’s need for a uniform closet for kids to use when they don’t have what they need provided from home. The closet would also supply hats, gloves, backpacks and hygiene products. He also needs an outdoor shed for storage, inside and outside beautification as well as some basic supply needs for teachers. Also discussed is the need for volunteers to serve as helpers in the classroom, in addition to bus monitors, and mentors.

Some of the smaller needs were filled on the spot last week, but the momentum that was built must be maintained. The group concurred that focus and accountability is key and in addition to the necessary immediate follow up, they committed to gathering again in January and on a regular basis going forward.

This is Partners in Action at its finest and the students of John Marshall Middle School will benefit from the care and support they are receiving.

Read Mary Mélon’s original Oklahoman editorial.

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