For the past four years, the Round Rock Church of Christ has given time, talent and financial resources to support Voigt Elementary in an ongoing partnership that has been a transformative experience on both sides.
Voigt Principal Cheryl Hester said she could not begin to show all her appreciation for what the church has provided students and teachers.
“The Round Rock Church of Christ has wrapped their arms around our school to love and support us,” Hester said. “We feel blessed to have them as a partner.”
Austin Bridge Builders Alliance coordinated the initial connection between the church and school, explaining the needs of the Voigt community to the congregation. Church Elder Ken Kohl said members immediately felt a call to serve.
The first meeting with Voigt administration was phenomenal, Kohl said. Voigt expressed their needs and the church immediately began brainstorming ways to help.
“The most important thing, I believe, the church did was listen,” Kohl said. “ We have always been most concerned with how to make the largest impact on the teachers, administration, students and their families. Our partnership means encouraging and supporting the great administrators and teachers to create a loving, caring learning environment for every child at the school.”
Through the partnership, the church created an Adopt-a-Teacher/Adopt-a-Grade program where members and small groups provide prayers, encouraging emails and small gifts of appreciation to teachers and staff. The Round Rock Church of Christ has several members involved in the STAR Mentor Program and Literacy Partners, directly working with and being a part of students’ lives. Many church members have joined the PTA, volunteered at Book Fairs, Literacy Nights, STEAM nights and other special events and programs at the school.
Beginning two years ago, the church created the Voigt Grant Program, setting aside $9,000 each year dedicated to providing teachers with tools to enhance their classroom environments. Money is used for a variety of projects, including purchasing access to educational software, dual-language classroom library books, flexible seating options, physical education equipment, computer equipment for the robotics club, decorating the teacher breakroom and a coffee bar operated by the Special Education students program, among others.
“It has brought our church so much joy to be able to partner with Voigt,” Kohl said. “Our members feel a deeper connection with the community as a whole. The mission of our church is to simply ‘Live Love’, and Voigt provides us amazing opportunities to live out that message. They are so gracious to us. We are humbled to be a part of the wonderful things that are happening in the lives of the students and teachers in the Voigt community.”