COVINGTON, Ga. - The Newton County School System and the Newton County Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce that New Life Praise Center has been named the 2018 NCSS Partner in Education of the Year.
New Life Praise Center is a partner in education with both Fairview Elementary School and Indian Creek Middle School and both school principals nominated New Life Praise Center for the yearly award. Both principals noted that New Life Praise Center has made a positive and lasting impact on both students and staff at the schools in just a very short time.
According to Indian Creek Middle School principal, Dr. Swade Huff, New Life Praise Center has been a tremendous support and cheerleader—a true advocate for the school in this, their first year of partnership. Huff noted that faculty and staff were more than thrilled when New Life Praise Center members organized a teacher appreciation breakfast at the school. In addition to feeding the teachers, New Life Praise Center has also provided financial support for various initiatives to supplement school resources at Indian Creek.
And New Life Praise Center hasn’t limited its support to just the faculty and staff. Pastor Justin Adams made a commitment to the school to provide bi-weekly mentoring sessions with several of the middle school students to focus on leadership skills, team building, test-taking skills, and more. He has also coordinated a community outing to expose students to the world outside their immediate surroundings; the students who have embraced his guidance this year will take a trip to the College Football Hall of Fame in May.
“New Life Praise Center and Pastor Justin Adams have been a true benefit to the school and impacted our efforts to foster a positive school culture and climate,” Huff said.
New Life Praise Center has had a similar impact at Fairview Elementary, where they have served as partners in education for two years.
According to Dr. LaMoyne Brunson, principal of Fairview Elementary, Pastor Adams and New Life Praise Center have supported both students and staff. Praise Center members have provided multiple staff breakfasts throughout the school year, arriving as early at 6:30 a.m. to set up hot, home-cooked meals and a positive energy for staff.
Adams has also served as a mentor and team-builder for staff, speaking to them throughout the year on a number of topics. At the beginning of the school year he spoke to the staff on the importance of children knowing that their teachers care about them. Then, after the release of the school’s state scores, he returned to remind the staff that they make a difference in the lives of their students.
In addition to supporting the staff, Pastor Adams also provides mentorship to the students at Fairview Elementary through the Born 2B Men program.
“Through this program, young male students learn social and practical life skills that are helping them to develop into young gentlemen,” Brunson said. “Pastor Adams leads monthly meetings with the students with new topics such as, “You Are Individual, Unique, and Important,” and “Are You Motivated to be Your Best?”
“He has even taught the boys skills they really enjoyed, including how to tie neckties,” added Brunson.
According to Dr. Brunson, New Life Praise Center has also generously provided financial support to Fairview Elementary School by donating money for various projects, including the Beta Club’s travel expenses to the state competition. Their most generous and beneficial contribution to the school supported the Fairview drama team’s first musical presentation of, “The Jungle Book Kids.”
“They provided a large donation toward the set and costume expenses, which allowed the school to use more professional-looking pieces, and greatly eased the burden of fundraising for the performance,” Brunson said.
When presenting the award, Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Ralph Staffins said. “It makes me so proud to know that we have school partners like this in our community. This partnership truly demonstrates that you do not have to be a big business with deep pockets and numerous employees to make a huge impact in our schools. Any business or organization, no matter how big or small, has the ability to make a difference to the children and staff in our schools.”
“We are thrilled to be partners in education with Newton County School System,” Adams said. “We don’t have a lot of money. We don’t have a lot of time. But we have a lot of love at our church and that’s what we invested this year. And that’s we invested last year and what we will invest next year. We believe if we can change a culture we can change a county. It seems like all of the news is terrible news. And it seems like a lot of things you read is a lot of bigotry, hatred and racism. But we think if we can start in our community we can have a ripple effect. And I challenge each of you not only to dig deep in your pockets but dig deep in your time, dig deep in your smiles, dig deep in your love. Accept everyone, love everyone, and embrace everyone. We don’t have to judge a community by what they look like, what they live like, but we can love them. We can change our world by a simple act of kindness. We can move mountains simply by loving them. And that’s what we’ve done.”