Tea, a women’s fellowship group of ONE Church, will host Education Station providing school supplies for Pre-K through fifth-grade students in need at J.R. Irvin Elementary School from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. The school is located at 700 W. Ave. H in Midlothian.
The event is being held in conjunction and with assistance from ONE Church, Midlothian Police and Fire Departments, Midlothian Police Association (MPA), Hilco Electric Cooperative Inc. and Tim Brown Foundation.
“We started this event to ensure the educational success of every student in Midlothian ISD and utilize the opportunity to be the arms of Christ, to give unselfishly,” Tea member and event organizer Alexis McClendon said. “Our (tea’s) goal from the beginning was get involved with the community and bring the police and fire departments together with us. We thought what better way to serve the community than to provide school supplies for the children and families in need.”
Parents must be present with the student receiving the school supplies and can register on site at the time of the event. Students will receive a Midlothian ISD school supplies list, a backpack, a pair of new shoes and all of the required learning materials will be handed out on a first come, first serve basis until all supplies run out.
“Education Station has grown every year that we’ve hosted it. Our first year we had 30 students, 60 the second and 85 kids last year,” McClendon said. “We’re expecting 150-200 students this year, but we’ve never had the event previewed in the newspaper. I can’t wait until Saturday to see how many people turn out.”
In addition to the school supplies and hand outs, children will also be provided with a hot dog lunch including a bag os chips and a drink. The police and fire departments will have a patrol car and fire engine on site for children to sit inside, run the sirens and learn about what police officers and firefighters do to protect the community. Students can also play in bounce houses that will be set up.
Two laptop computers, donated by MPA and MPA member Duke Burge, will be raffled off as door prizes at the event. Each student Pre-K through fifth grade will receive a raffle ticket when they register for school supplies and must be present to win.
“We’ve had so many different reactions from the parents, most of them cry or can’t believe that it’s really all free,” McClendon said. “Some of the children have never had a new backpack or a new pair of shoes, and it really boosts their confidence to have all of the supplies they need to start the school year.”
Members of tea and volunteers from the police department will be assisting with this year’s hand out of supplies. Alexis’ husband, Demetrius McClendon known as “Pastor Mac” is the pastor of ONE Church, a chaplain for the police department and leads a Bible study group at the fire department.
Alexis said tea was formed as a fellowship group for women of ONE Church. The group would meet for tea time, leading to the name “tea.” The group describes itself as “the perfect blend of fellowship, relationship, discipleship and community involvement.”
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