Vienna Elementary receives backpack, uniform donations

Dorchester Banner/Bob Zimberoff On Aug. 24, members of Wesley UM Church in Vienna and Zoar UM Church in Reid’s Grove donated backpacks to students at Vienna Elementary School. They intended to donate 70 school uniforms as well. Pictured with fourth-grade students from left in back are Kaitlin Kallahan, fourth-grade teacher; Pearl Coleman of Zoar United; Jacqueline Jackson of Wesley United; Dorothy Jackson of Zoar United; Vatice Walker of Zoar United; Tonya Pinkett of Zoar United; Isaac White of Wesley United; Helen Washington of Zoar United; Ruth Rideouot of Zoar United; Claudia Johnson, fourth-grade teacher; Nona Tillery of Zoar United, partly obscured; Jacqueline Hunteman, school counselor; and Susie Price, school principal.

Dorchester Banner/Bob Zimberoff
On Aug. 24, members of Wesley UM Church in Vienna and Zoar UM Church in Reid’s Grove donated backpacks to students at Vienna Elementary School. They intended to donate 70 school uniforms as well. Pictured with fourth-grade students from left in back are Kaitlin Kallahan, fourth-grade teacher; Pearl Coleman of Zoar United; Jacqueline Jackson of Wesley United; Dorothy Jackson of Zoar United; Vatice Walker of Zoar United; Tonya Pinkett of Zoar United; Isaac White of Wesley United; Helen Washington of Zoar United; Ruth Rideouot of Zoar United; Claudia Johnson, fourth-grade teacher; Nona Tillery of Zoar United, partly obscured; Jacqueline Hunteman, school counselor; and Susie Price, school principal.


VIENNA — Members of the Cambridge, Reid’s Grove, Vienna Charge Ministries helped get the school year off to a good start Aug. 24, at Vienna Elementary School with the donation of backpacks. The school introduced uniforms this year, and 70 uniforms will soon be donated by church members to the school as well. Vatice Walker helped organize the backpack donations and reached out to Vienna Elementary.

The ministry includes St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Cambridge, Wesley UM Church in Vienna and Zoar UM Church in Reid’s Grove under the auspices of the Rev. Jerome E. Tilghman Sr.

“His vision is that the church becomes a bridge and light in the community through our outreach ministries,” Mrs. Walker said of Rev. Tilghman. “During the school year, students do lose backpacks and some parents really just don’t have the money to purchase backpacks. So, we decided we would get some to help out all during the year. With the uniforms, the school is going to decide who will get them.”

Susie Price, Vienna Elementary principal, said the backpacks and uniforms will be very helpful.

“You all just touch my heart,” Principal Price said upon entering the school’s media center and meeting the church members. “We are just so thankful that we have the partnership with Mrs. Walker and her church. … This summer, she contacted me in June and said we want to do something and I said, ‘call me in August with whatever your ideas are.’ She called August the first and said we’re going to buy uniforms for your children.”
Principal Price said that she misunderstood Mrs. Walker at first and thought the church group was donating seven uniforms. She was delighted to find that 70 uniforms will be donated.

“We just about passed out,” when the true number was discovered, Principal Price said. “We’re so excited. We did learn today that some of our children only were able to afford one uniform. We’re working on getting our washer and dryer so we can help out kids who might have an accident or spill during the day. This lady has been magic, absolutely magic,” she said of Mrs. Walker.

Mrs. Walker said Aug. 24 the uniforms were ordered and she was waiting for them to arrive. She also volunteers as a Character Counts! coach at the school.

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