On Saturday, Aug. 8, Main Street Academy – with lots of help from businesses and organizations in the community – held its “Southeast International Back to School Community Day” in the field across from the school on South Main Street.
The day included a giveaway of school supplies, free food for young people, live music and performances, health screenings, and information about community resources.
The Southeast International Community Day was organized by the newly formed Southeast Community Partnership. The team included several churches, organizations and government agencies. Many from the community were excited about the event and pleased to see an event in the southeast community.
Here is what the Rev. Anthony Jones of United Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church had to say:
"For 10 years, I have been serving as the Senior Minister of United Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, located in the Southeast Ward. One of my passions for ministry is working with children and youth. Over the years, I’ve noticed there was a lack of positive activity for children and youth in the area. I prayed to God to provide an idea to help build upon my desire to provide succor and strength to the children and youth and in our area. As a result of the Southeast International Community Day, the efficacy of agencies and people who share the passion to produce a proper environment has grown. Hopefully, experiences like this will encourage children and youth to explore their passion in life.
"I was gratified with the outcome of the event. However, we have much work to do. During the event, I was thinking of what could be done to improve the affair and create a greater impact for our youth and their families, next year. I want to thank Principal Travis for allowing Main Street Academy to be the space to give birth to our community day.”
Big Brothers/Big Sisters in also a member of the Southeast Community Partnership. CEO Shawan Gabriel said: "It was great to have so many community partners to unite and host this type of event for the southeast community, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters was glad to be a part of it."
Many local families participated. The Martinez family has three children in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System. They were very grateful to be able to receive free school supplies. Mr. Stan Martinez, expressed his feelings as follows: “This is a blessing. Buying school supplies for three children can be very costly. Wwe in the community really appreciate this event.”
Barbara Gorham, the Director of Children’s Ministry at St. Peter’s Church and World Outreach Center said: “I absolutely loved the community collaboration and feel that we all made an impact in our community. To see greater results of the impact, we will have to continue to identify our community needs and collectively address them.
“We identified a need, came together and addressed it, blessed those in need, mission accomplished! We had food and book bags remaining which resounds to me that when God gets involved there is always increase and surplus. Overall the event was a huge success. Can somebody say three fish and five loaves?”
Many parents were very grateful. Parent Cindy Robinson was very excited about the affair. “It’s exciting that our community is finally being recognized. We’ve never had an event like this in our community. This is great.”
Nichelle Carroll, the Home School Coordinator at Main Street Academy said: “It is my desire to create opportunities within our community to strengthen and empower children, as well as, their families. Southeast International Back to School Community Day was an opportunity to reach more families, by uniting with area churches, schools, government officials, business partners, sponsors and leaders. We have a common goal, to empower children, strengthen families and rebuild our community. I was raised to have a village mentality. We can accomplish much more, if we work together. Together we stand; divided we fall. Let's continue to empower one another and reclaim our community, one child, and one family at a time.”
Ronald Travis, the Principal of Main Street Academy, concluded the following: “I am very grateful we are able to partner with so many outstanding agencies. We appreciate their support. We are very grateful that our community supported an event of this magnitude.
“We are also thankful for the support of Officer Pam Peoples-Joyner and the Winston-Salem Police Department. Her leadership was very critical to the success of this affair. Lastly, to Councilman James Taylor, Councilman of the Southeast Ward. He supported this occasion and has visited our campus and pledged his support of our endeavors. Main Street Academy wants to continue to be a productive partner in the Southeast Community”.
Other sponsors included Big Brothers Big Sisters, Winston-Salem Federal Credit Union, WXLV television, and Branded for Knowledge Inc.