12/20/15 Church, school partner for concert

Church, school partner for concert
The Times-News 12/20/15  
Reprinted with permission.

This year’s Eastlawn Elementary School holiday concert drew about 700 people to Front Street United Methodist Church last week.

“It was packed; I couldn’t believe it,” said Anna Workman, interim director of Christian education at the church. “The principal said this was the largest event they’d ever had at Eastlawn.”

The school’s auditorium can accommodate a couple hundred, Workman said, and when the church was looking for ways to work with the school, the idea came up to lend its much larger gymnasium for school events.

It was also the school’s family enrichment night. The Alamance County Public Library set up 10 tables with free books, origami, crafts, a photo booth and education applications on iPads.

The church used its activity buses to bring families from the school, Workman said, and the parking lot and all the nearby open spaces were full.

United Methodist churches across the country are making partnerships like this with schools, Workman said.

This partnership started this fall, and Front Street members donated Thanksgiving turkeys to Eastlawn families in need.

The Christmas Cheer families the church adopted were all Eastlawn families. In 2016, Workman said, the church is aiming to set up tutoring and mentoring programs at Eastlawn.

“We’re trying to figure out what our members can do to be involved in the lives of these children,” Workman said, “and make it easier for teachers and principals.”