May 22, 2012--Eleven students from nearby Kettering Elementary School came to Collington May 16 for a luncheon celebrating their ties to Collington residents who have mentored them throughout the school year. During the luncheon, members of Collington’s Community Outreach Committee presented the students and school officials with a check for $3,000 to enhance educational opportunities at Kettering
The $3,000 gift will be used to sponsor field trips to Colonial Williamsburg for 12 5th-grade students in need, to expand access to educational software to special needs, kindergarten and 1st-grade students, and to underwrite Blue Sky Puppet Theatre presentations on peaceful conflict resolution for all Kettering students.
“The residents here give money for various projects that we have during the year, and they are so generous that frequently we can’t even use all of the money,” says Carol Kempske, Community Outreach Committee Chair. “So that’s how we came up with the idea of giving this money to Kettering. I talked with the principal and asked her for a list of things that she would love to have for the children at school.”
Carol and other Collington residents have worked closely with Leona Parker, Professional School Counselor, for five or six years now on tutoring and many other outreach projects at Kettering.
“They are our angels,” Leona says. “It’s not just the big check they’ve given us. It’s so much more than that. They’ve been a constant support of both the children and the community. We’ve had so many situations where they have touched the lives of Kettering children,” she adds. “At the beginning of the year, they will always check with me about school supplies and whatever I need—whether it’s uniforms, composition books, or pencil boxes full of goodies.
“At Christmas, they usually adopt three or four families and provide all kinds of nice things for the children. Collington residents also have given Target and grocery gift certificates to help homeless families, including one that lost their home because of a fire,” she says. “And the wealth of knowledge and expertise that Collington residents bring to the table as tutors is just really amazing,” Leona adds. “The words students use to describe their tutors include ‘Caring,’ ‘Smart,’ ‘Fun,’ ‘Cool,’ and ‘Helpful.’ They are just an amazing group.”