By Seth Coleman
For the past several months, members of Greater Community Church of God In Christ have helped Adamsville Primary School with a number of events and programs – from reading sessions with students to helping coordinate the school’s fall festival. All the things a community partner would do.
On Sunday, the partnership became official as Greater Community “adopted” Adamsville Primary, becoming the school’s official community partner. To further validate the partnership, Greater Community, a church with more than 1,200 members, invited Adamsville Primary Principal Dr. Isis Manboard and several of her staff to Sunday service at the church’s Marietta campus.
“They have already been helping us, but now everything is official,” Dr. Manboard said. “They have really embraced us. It’s just wonderful.”
The two entities came together through the work of Justin Trawick, a Greater Community member and the parent liaison at Adamsville Primary. He said the church just ended a five-year initiative in which it built and supported a high school in Haiti. Now church members will devote their energies and resources toward helping the students, faculty and staff at Adamsville Primary.
“They want us to get our (wish) list together,” Trawick said. “They are ready to really move things forward to help this school, these students and this community.”
Dr. Manboard said her first priority will be to create programs and events with Greater Community that will support her mission, which is to not only ensure that every child who leaves Adamsville Primary after the second grade is proficient in reading and math, but is also a critical thinker and a good person.
“We want to have as many people coming in and reading to our kids as we can,” Dr. Manboard said. “And we really want to get a mentoring program going, particularly for our boys. We have so many of them who need mentoring.”
Part of that process will include having mentors from Greater Community take part in some Social Emotional Learning (SEL) training sessions. Atlanta Public Schools has adopted the SEL initiative, which helps students and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
Dr. Manboard said Greater Community’s pastor, Dr. Matthew Brown, has assured her that he and his church are committed to the new partnership. In fact, Dr. Brown, a professionally trained counselor and mediator, has conducted a few consultation and team-building sessions – free of charge – for Dr. Manboard and some of her grade-level teaching teams.
“We are not performing poorly as a school, but we are not at the top either, and that is where I want us to be,” Dr. Manboard said. “I know with the commitment from Pastor Brown and the members of Greater Community Church, we will get there.”