Pictured above (L-R) School Representatives Patrick Moore, Christine Brown, Maddie Fritz, Treasure Trove Volunteers Sara Macklin, Marilyn Alber
Part 2 – The Treasure Trove
Schools. Who or what makes them tick?
Teachers teach history, math, science, reading, music, and a whole host of other subjects. Support staff greets you when you come into the building and help out with all aspects of keeping a school open and running smoothly. What is one thing that makes them tick and why do they do it?
We all have a special gene or trait that we bring to the table in our jobs. If you are reading this, so do you. At school, there is one common denominator in what we do on a daily basis. Students. Our most important asset.
One thing I have learned being a teacher and administrator in a small town is that small-town morals and values are strongly embedded in our schools. Our job as role-models is to make sure students have the opportunity to be successful within our school walls and out in our communities. I once heard the saying, "Work. It ain't gonna do itself..." Likewise, schools are staffed with people from all different backgrounds that interact with children and help them learn and grow on a daily basis.
In our community of Blue Hill, we have a sense of pride and duty to ensure our students have access to the tools necessary for them to learn and be productive citizens. A little over two years ago our teachers sought out our local businesses to help us get started with a Backpack Program. In the two years since, multiple businesses, patrons, and churches from our community and beyond have stepped up to lend a hand to help the kids of the Blue Hill School District. The Backpack Program. It ain't gonna do itself...
Over the last two years, we have been fortunate to have one business, in particular, take a keen interest not in food, but in clothing and hygiene. Mandy Ockinga, owner of Main Street Styles in Blue Hill, began by organizing local parents and friends. Mandy convinced our community that we had another need not only in our school but in our community. Mandy convinced everyone to donate all types of household items for our students in need at school, but particularly clothing. Another idea was born. Did the idea have community support?
The idea that started as a one-time thing to have students come uptown to get clothing and hygiene products has blossomed into a community affair. The Treasure Trove is now a business on main street that provides not only for kids in our town but for all of the town. The Treasure Trove is run by many volunteers (Sara Macklin and Marilyn Alber are pictured in the photo) and sustained by community support and donations.
I have always viewed schools and community as a three legged stool. One leg represents the school. One represents the community. And the other leg represents purpose and support. Community support and partnerships rock. School and communities ain't gonna work themselves...without support.