Friday, August 8, 2014

Guest Post: "Back to School"

The smell of freshly sharpened pencils, a shiny red apple for the teacher,  running your fingers along the edge of your new Ipad, loading up your new bookbag with all your school supplies, packing your favorites foods in your new superhero lunchbox….

What do you think about when August rolls around and school starts up again?  For most of us, there are shopping trips, checklists, open houses, laying out our new “First Day of School” outfit  – all helping us be totally prepared for our first day back.  For many of the students at Rama Road Elementary School, the best part of heading back to school means regular meals.  Many don’t have funds to purchase items suggested by their teachers.  Many don’t have funds to purchase the required uniforms they must wear daily.  

That’s where Sardis has answered the need.  Our Pool for School Tools allows Sardis members to donate school supplies that will be provided to those who have none.  You see supplies everywhere you go, at very reasonable prices.  Why not pick up some of your favorites to donate to students at Rama Road?  Our Mission Interpretation Ministry provides funds to purchase teacher requested items for classrooms ranging from painting easels to art supplies.  Over and over, we hear from teachers that knowing Sardis cares makes such a difference to them.

Through Planting Seeds of Hope, Sardis offers opportunities to mentor and/or tutor Rama students.  Volunteers can help out in classrooms or the media center.  You can truly make a difference in the lives of students and teachers at Rama.  We all need to support the teachers who go into a classroom everyday facing students who come to school hungry, tired, and without the supplies they need to be successful.  Many of our projects work to build teacher morale and let them know we support their work in this Title One school.

Our Sardis community has stepped up to support Rama Road in many ways from inviting them to our Halloween Hullabuloo to the One Day of Sharing work on the grounds.  Often, our members show up to school with treats for the Rama staff just to say they care.  Donations of underwear and socks make the lives of students much easier.  Sardis hosts Rama’s staff for their beginning of the year orientation at the Sardis House.  One of our biggest projects is the Angel Tree.  Each year, Sardis angels provide gifts for Rama students and their families.  We served 194 people from 70 families last Christmas.

For the past three years, Sardis has provided books for students at Rama to take home over the summer to read.  Each book has a nameplate that says, “From your friends at Sardis Presbyterian.”  How wonderful that each time the book is opened, they know that people at Sardis care about them.

So pat yourself on the back Sardis and find more ways to get involved!  Purchase school supplies, volunteer with Rama students and staff,  serve pizza at Curriculum Night, or watch for other Planting Seeds of Hope opportunities.  As Tom said when we first started this project, there is great need within a mile of our own church.

As the Bible says in Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 

The rewards of the gifts of your time or talents will be returned in smiles and student achievement as you plant seeds of hope at Rama Road.


The Planting Seeds of Hope Committee works to support the Rama Road community through the partnership with Sardis Presbyterian Church and Rama Road Elementary School.  This partnership is entering its seventh year and continues to work closely with the Rama staff to discern the best ways to make a difference in the lives of their teachers, staff, parents, and students. 

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