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Church's Donation Delivers on the Promise of Time, Talent, and Treasure Initiative

December 6, 2018

Rob Whitley and Marshall Wade
Meadowbrook Church of Christ Pastor Marshall Wade (right) helps Bailey alum Rob Whitley unpack books that the church purchased for Bailey APAC Middle School.
Book display - Freedom of Speech, This Is Our Constitution, Recycling and Upcycling
Some of the books donated to Bailey were displayed on tables as a surprise to students for the next school day.
Photo Gallery: Meadowbrook Church of Christ Donates Books to Bailey APAC

On November 28, members of the Meadowbrook Church of Christ delivered over 400 new books to the Bailey APAC Middle School Library. They say light hands make quick work. In less than an hour, the group of 30 volunteers, from school age children to retirees, sorted books, moved furniture, cleaned monitors and dusted shelves.

The Meadowbrook Church of Christ gets it. Their donation delivers on the promise of the Time, Talent and Treasure initiative started last year. In November 2017, JPS Partners in Education hosted a luncheon for area faith-based organizations inviting them to partner with the District's middle schools. At the time, the District's libraries had a serious need to update their inventory. The initiative called on church groups to commit to give in three specific ways:

  • Time–By serving as book buddies.
  • Talent–Recruiting retired librarians to mentor new librarians.
  • Treasure–Raise funds to buy library books for middle schools.

JPS middle school librarians identified books that would put them in compliance with a previous Mississippi Department of Education audit. Thea Faulkner, Director of Partners in Education, teamed up with JPS lead librarian Jeanette Whisenton to determine the best way to help the District's librarians. Whisenton suggested working with Mackin Books. The company maintains an inventory of the needed books and barcodes them prior to shipping to schools. This process ensures the books arrive ready to be placed on library shelves for students to check out.

Meadowbrook Church of Christ was first out of the gate to run with the vision of Time, Talent and Treasure. The church embarked upon a yearlong fundraising effort that raised over $7,500. They worked closely with librarian Jason Eifling on purchasing books that aligned with state standards. The school and church also coordinated the after-hours delivery so that the school's students could enjoy the surprise the next day.

"I am delighted to see this vision come to fruition," said Faulkner. "It is the goal of Partners in Education to match community resources with school needs to ensure that our scholars have what they need to excel. This tangible act of support from Meadowbrook Church of Christ has provided an expanded array of reading material for our scholars to enjoy."

"We have great kids and that often gets overlooked," said Eifling. "We have a lot of readers, and it's just something they want to do. They want to read, and now we have a lot more books for them."

Pastor Marshall Wade led the effort for Meadowbrook Church of Christ. He serves as the student minister and finance manager of the church. Jackson Public Schools' Time, Talent and Treasure initiative aligns with the church's service mission.

"We wanted to find four local organizations that we could partner with," said Wade. "Our whole idea was that we could support them spiritually through prayer, and we could support them financially. Our hope is to spread a positive light on our school district here in the city."