FLINT TWP. — “I almost fell and hurt myself, I could not believe it.”
That is how Kevin Summey, Carman-Ainsworth Middle School principal, described his reaction when walking for the first time into the teacher’s lounge this summer after a makeover.
The credit goes to members of South Baptist Church, 4091 Van Slyke Rd, which has a long history of supporting C-A school including a mentoring program and providing meals for teachers. South also provides the assembly area for the annual Homecoming parade.
But the teacher’s lounge makeover went above and beyond, Summey said. He nominated the group for a certificate of recognition from the C-A school board that was presented at the September 20 meeting.
Pastor Brandon Barnes, Youth Worship Pastor, was on hand to accept the award and appreciation from the board. Several factors motivated the church group to renovate the teacher’s lounge, said Scott Snyder, lead pastor. Church volunteers have been involved in a mentoring program at the middle school for about four years, he said. Twice a month they meet with the students to work on projects, take field trips, help with homework and offer other support.
“As a result of spending time with these students, and listening to their backgrounds and struggles, we came to realize the incredibly difficult job that the teachers and staff have that work with hundreds of these same kinds of students every day,” Pastor Snyder said.
A second motivation for redoing the lounge stemmed from something else the church has done for many years – organizing a banquet to recognize teachers and staff. Until last year, the banquet was held at the church but last year, church members decided to deliver the meals to the teach- ers and staff at their buildings.
“When we took lunch to the middle school, we were set up in the staff lounge,” Pastor Snyder said. “As we served lunch to the teachers and staff, we noticed how old and rundown the staff lounge was. This lounge is supposed to be a place where teachers and staff should be able to go and relax and recharge a little bit so that they can do a better job at carrying out their roles in lives of students who desperately need for them to do their very best.”
They were told that very few teachers used the lounge because of its condition. That led to the third reason for taking on the renovation project. The church had set a summer goal to undertake several community outreach projects. Renovating the middle school teacher’s lounge was one of them.
Over the course of two weekends, church volunteers repaired and painted walls, repaired and replaced ceiling tiles, installed a cabinet and countertop, replaced an old microwave with a new one, replaced old tables and chairs with new ones, added a couch, a new fan, and several decorations throughout the room – all at no cost to the school.
“We had a lot of fun working together, and we pray it might be an encouragement to the teachers and staff at the school who have such a difficult job and receive very little recognition for their work,” Pastor Snyder said.