Partnership to help Duval students

Deaconess Sarah Richardson, right, helped serve a delicious luncheon to celebrate the partnership between Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and Duval Fine Arts Academy. In line from left-front to back are Duval Fine Arts Academy Principal Donna Jones, retired educator Andrew Mickle, Deacon Joe Richardson, and Duval drama teacher Rhonda Wilson.

AIDA MALLARD/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 3:22 p.m.

Mt.Carmel Baptist Church and Duval Fine Arts Academy celebrated their newly formed partnership with a luncheon and a commitment to work together to help Duval students be the best they can be.

Rev. Dr. LaMonte Newsome, senior pastor at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, said the lunch served as a celebration of the church and the school coming together in a collaborative partnership to help Duval students succeed.

He said Mt. Carmel has many retired teachers and business people who would be willing to share their skills and provide students with mentoring, tutoring, and other services.

"We want to help you do your task," Rev. Newsome said. "I want you to see what we have to offer. We're going to bring forth our resources so we can enhance what you do."

Donna Jones, principal at Duval Fine Arts Academy, said that by working hard, and with the support of partners like Mt. Carmel, great things will happen to Duval students.

She said Mt. Carmel has a wealth of knowledge, retired educators, and resources that will benefit the students.

"In order to achieve success with the students," said Jones, "everyone needs to be involved. We need volunteers, and we won't turn anyone down."

Nearly 50 educators, and supporters were treated to a delicious lunch of baked and fried chicken, rice and gravy, green beans, salad, bread and scrumptious deserts.

It was held last Thursday at the Mt. Carmel Family Life Center.

Deacon Joe Richardson, chairman of the Deacon Ministry at Mt. Carmel, offered the opening prayer.

In her welcome, Deaconess Sarah Richardson, who is a retired educator, said she was happy Jones and Rev. Newsome would be working together to benefit the students at Duval. Retired educator Andrew Mickle, who is a member of Mt. Carmel, expressed his support for the new partnership.

Angela Terrell, fine arts facilitator at Duval, said the community's support will make a tremendous impact to Duval's success.

"We're off to a fantastic start with the community reaching out to our school when we're facing many challenges," said Terrell. "I believe this partnership will have a tremendous impact on the success of our school."

In the closing remarks, Rev. Newsome called Duval teachers and staff heroes.

"You are heroes," said Rev. Newsome. "It takes everyone to make a difference, and we want to lend a hand to help you do what you do, and to be successful."

Jones said, "We're grateful for this opportunity to join forces."

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