By Andrea McCann
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — Many area churches make it their mission to do what they can to help fill the needs of families in the community.
This month, Antioch Christian Church Family Ministry is collecting school supplies for students at Lena Dunn Elementary School who don’t have them.
“There are 35 wonderful teachers and staff who do a tremendous job caring for the needs of the kids and teaching them curriculum required by the state,” said Nicole Ruble, wife of Antioch’s Family Life pastor, Tony Ruble. “In order for these teachers to do their jobs to the best of their ability, the students need the supplies required. Our desire is to be there to fill the needs of families.”
Ninety-eight percent of Lena Dunn students are in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. According to Ruble, some students started the school year without adequate supplies either for economic reasons or because of communication difficulties.
Nonetheless, Superintendent Dan Roach said, “When you walk through classrooms you see a tremendous level of education going on there.”
A substitute teacher herself, Ruble said there are always children at any school who are in need of supplies.
“Being in the schools has been an eye-opening experience for me,” she said. “It’s taken me out of the box of home into the reality of our community. It’s given me an authentic passion to help.”
Others who wish to help can donate school supplies by dropping them off at the Antioch office between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the Daviess County Chamber of Commerce during business hours. The collection will last through Jan. 31. The following supplies are needed:
* 24-count box of Crayons
* Colored and black dry-erase markers
* Headphones (no earbuds; for use at computer stations so neighboring students aren’t disturbed)
* #2 yellow pencils
* Pencil erasers or pink erasers
* Blunt scissors
* Wide-rule tablets
Lena Dunn Principal Brenda Butcher said other organizations have made donations, and the staff is very grateful for the assistance provided to their students in need. They’re happy to serve as liaisons between community organizations and their students and families, she added.
“One church donated underwear and socks,” Butcher said. “One donated tennis shoes, and one group did mittens and hats.
“We have a lot of kind people who have really helped us out with the children. We have great kids and great families, and any help to them we appreciate.”