Chesterfield County participates in a program called Communities in Schools whose mission is “to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.” The Beta Pi Chapter decided years ago to adopt Community High School, which serves students who face enormous challenges both inside and outside the classroom. The group sponsored many events for both teachers and students such as lunches, Teacher Appreciation Week gifts, honor roll breakfasts, ice cream sundaes events for students of the month, etc.
Debi Middleton, has become deeply involved in managing a tutoring center at one of the trailer parks that serve many Hispanic students. She organizes tutors from the community and elicits donations for school supplies and gift cards for these students whose families sometimes struggle to make ends meet.
A year ago, the Chapter adopted the Donors Choose program which was introduced to by member Dr. Carla Mathews. The Chapter had always given a scholarship to one or more local seniors heading off to college to major in education, but the group decided that they would use some of their funds to also support teachers already in the classroom – to help them feel supported and to encourage them to stay in the profession. Donors Choose is a website whereby an individual classroom teacher can submit a request for a certain amount of funding to help her carry out a project to enhance her students’ classroom experience.
Beta Pi member Dr. Carla Mathews led the way for another project and members donated many items for the “Smile Bags” that each surgery patient receives. Four members traveled to Norfolk to fill smile bags at the international headquarters for Operation Smile on behalf of the Chapter.