Faith Partnership Summit Connects Faith Community to GCS

More than 175 people, including members of the faith community and school leaders, enjoyed Guilford County Schools’ Faith Partnership Summit on Thursday at Mount Zion Baptist Church.

The Faith Partnership Summit is part of a renewed effort to engage local faith leaders and show how they and their congregations can work together with schools to support and enhance personal and academic success for Guilford County students.

Guests participated in a series of workshops focused on topics that included promoting literacy, supporting and building stronger families and working to ensure minority students have access to the same resources as other students.

The partnership Cornerstone Baptist Church has with Hunter Elementary has grown significantly during the past several years and members of the congregation hold numerous annual events that support the school’s students and teachers, including a back-to-school bash and teacher appreciation events. 

“Because of the relationship we have developed with Suzanne Fray [school social worker], we are really her go-to group she can count on when a need arises with a student or across the school,” said congregation member Joy Calcagno. “We are here at the summit to gain even more information about how we can help and encourage other churches to get involved with our schools.” 

Veronica Creech, Senior Director of Global Outreach & Engagement at First Book, gave the keynote address which focused on collaboration. Creech was born into a low-income family in South America before moving to and growing up in North Carolina. Here, she says, she was surrounded by a supportive community that helped her change her life trajectory.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for faith leaders and school leaders to come together, learn more about the needs of our students and share ideas about how we can work together to meet those needs,” said Lane Brown, director of volunteers, partnerships and grants.

About 80 of the 127 schools in Guilford County have at least one faith partner.