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A Big "Thank You" and an Ice Cream Treat for Staff Members at Petree
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By Kim Underwood
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
MAY 24, 2021 – On Friday May 21, an impressive group of people came to Petree Elementary to say “Thank you!” to teachers and other members of the staff.
And they brought ice cream.
In recent days, teams from a number of organizations – including the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education, the Winston-Salem City Council, the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem& Vicinity, the Chris Paul Family Foundation, and Read WS – have been visiting Inspire 340 schools to tell everyone how much they appreciate the work they are doing to support students.
Visits earlier in the week included Gibson, North Hills, Old Town, Ibraham, Kimberley Park, Cook, Bolton, Diggs-Latham, Forest Park, Easton and Hall-Woodward elementary schools.
On each visit, they brought ice cream sandwiches from Abbott’s Frozen Custard to provide a refreshing end to the school day. By the end of the week, they expected to deliver more than 1,000 ice cream treats.
“The Ministers' Conference of Winston-Salem & Vicinity was grateful to collaborate with the Chris Paul Family Foundation to plan this celebration for persons in the WS/FCS Inspire 340 schools,” said the Rev. Dr. Charolette Leach, the Co-Chair of the Faith and Health Committee.
“School staff – as essential workers – have shown themselves so faithful to our children and youth, especially through the pandemic. It was truly a privilege to celebrate them in this small way. We are grateful for each donation and for each volunteer!”
On Friday afternoon, three teams headed out – one to Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy, one to Ashley Academy and one to Petree Elementary.
Those who came to Petree included:
Shai Woodbury, chair of the school board.
Barbara Hanes Burke, a City Council member and a former member of the school board
Hobart Jones, a great uncle of Chris Paul who volunteers at Petree.
Ralph Meadows, Sr., an account executive who volunteers at Petree
Al Jabbar, the President of the Winston-Salem Chapter of the NAACP and a volunteer at the school, and his wife, Addie Jabbar
Sharon Ralston,a board member of Read WS (Read Write Spell), which has several volunteers who help students at Petree.
Jackson Cheek, who works at the Chris Paul Basketball Academy
Lori Miller, a volunteer with the Chris Paul Family Foundation
As everyone waited for students to head home for the day and for teachers and other staff members to gather in the media center, people talked about why they thought it was important to participate in the “thank you” event and, with ice cream on the way, what their favorite flavor is.
“I think it lifts the morale of the teachers and lets them know the community cares,” said Al Jabbar, whose favorite flavor is banana, coconut, pecan. Addie Jabbar’s favorite flavor is butter pecan praline.
Burke said: “It’s always important to celebrate teachers. They have one of the toughest jobs in the whole wide world.”
“They give so much of themselves.”
And, in the dealing with the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic, teachers have shown the depth of their commitment to students.
“They showed their resiliency,” Burke said.
Ralston referred to teachers as Super Stars! for their ability to keep it together under such trying circumstances.
After everyone gathered in the media center, Woodbury welcomed everyone.
“Our teachers are the most valuable asset we have to make sure our students get educated,” Woodbury said. “We can never thank them enough what they have been going through the past two years.”
“This board and this community 100 percent supports you.”
After others also spoke about how much they appreciate teachers and all they do, Principal Alicia Bailey said, “Thank you so much for your support for Petree Elementary.”
Then it was time for teacher and other staff member to come up and decide whether they wanted a chocolate or vanilla ice cream treat.
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