Queen Street Church donates $5,000 to Southeast Elementary for books
Southeast Elementary principal Andre Whitfield, center, speaks to a group from Queen Street Church Monday at the school. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
Queen Street United Methodist Church has assisted Southeast Elementary for two decades, and the tradition continued on Monday.
Last spring, the church sent a $5,000 donation to the school, with the money going towards the purchase books. As the books arrived Monday, Southeast principal Andre Whitfield said they will greatly enhance the education of the students.
“The partnership has been very special,” Whitfield said. “There’s an old proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, and if you view the news and social media, the village needs more hands. Queen Street Church has been very helpful — they’ve come out every week to help the kids and have done a lot for the staff as well. These books are another example of how they’ve gone above and beyond.”
Over the years the church has worked with Southeast Elementary through its “Hand In Hand” ministry. Ann Laws, a retired schoolteacher who spent 37 years at Bynum and Northwest, said the church does its part to assist others worldwide, but having a presence at home is essential.
“There are all kinds of ministries, but there are home areas in need,” Laws said. “We want to do whatever we can to help the children feel better about themselves, help their reading skills and prevent the teachers from going out of pocket. We feel close to Southeast because they’re in our neighborhood and we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus here.
“Over the years we have provided a clothes closet with the school, donated school supplies, made meals for the teachers, read to the pre-K classes and given each child a book every month. Our goal is to have children excited about education.”
Christy Eubanks, a math curriculum specialist, said she was appreciative of the church’s efforts.
“Our focus in Lenoir County is to immerse the children in reading,” Eubanks said. “We didn’t have the resources, and now the kids have such a huge selection of topics like mysteries and biographies, which will expose them so many more experiences.”
Queen Street Church Pastor Karl Grant said the biggest component is bringing smiles to the students of Southeast.
“One of the greatest things you can do is touch the life of a child,” Grant said. “We’re grateful for the partnership and help the school with anything they need. Principal Whitfield’s three goals were to love the children, teach the children and love the children, so we want to show our love as well. We’ve got a great partnership and we want to continue helping the school where we can.”