Local union leaders and school board officials unveiled a community school initiative at H.E. White Elementary in Clay County on Saturday, April 18th at 2:00 PM.
AFT-Clay County and the local board of education formed a partnership to secure a West Virginia Department of Education Innovation Zone grant to fund the project. The partners are using the grant to transform the school into a hub of the community and capitalizing on the agricultural roots of the community by implementing a garden-centered curriculum. H.E. White Elementary will be the first farm to table school in the region, teaching life skills and healthy nutrition habits to students.
The celebration began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 PM. Other activities included a spaghetti dinner, inflatables and face painting for children and a tour of the facility.
“I am extremely proud to be part of this team of teachers, administration and union representatives who worked hard to secure grant funding for this innovative approach to education! Most of all, I’m excited for our students, who will have an ideal educational experience where the community takes ownership of its future by valuing and ensuring the success of our youth. I believe in the saying, it takes a village to raise a child; we are the village, we have to work together to raise our next generation to be successful and productive community members. I hope H.E. White community school inspires other schools or individuals to develop those partnerships that will help children and families,” remarked AFT- Clay County President Amanda Shelton.
AFT- Clay County is a local affiliate of AFT-West Virginia. AFT-WV represents over 16,500 education employees and is the largest union in the state. AFT-WV is a proud member of the AFL-CIO. Nationally, the AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers, paraprofessionals