You know students are taking Reinhardt University’s values to heart — learning, serving and leading — when they spend their summer break helping others.
Erin Griffin, a senior studying early childhood education in the Price School of Education, did just that this summer by helping teachers in Cherokee County. In May, she received a scholarship from the Cherokee Retired Educators Association. At that event, Griffin and her mother, Nancy, were surprised to hear of a school that doesn’t have a Parent Teacher Organization to ensure the teachers receive necessary supplies for their classrooms.
The Ralph Bunche Center in Canton has a preschool, Head Start classes and eight special-needs classes. However, because of financial gaps, teachers have to spend their own time, money and resources to make the school what it needs to be. Rather than celebrating her award, Griffin and her mother didn’t hesitate to help.
“We immediately went to my mom’s office and spoke to her boss, the owner of Geiger Legal Group, on how the business could give back to the community,” Griffin said.
Casey Geiger and his staff agreed to help. They volunteered at the Ralph Bunche Center’s field day, to get better acquainted with students and staff members. With Griffin’s guidance, they created 23 teacher carts that included laminators and a variety of supplies that could be rolled into the classroom for one teacher in each elementary school in the district. They also gathered much-needed snacks and drinks for the Ralphe Bunche Center. Everyone at the office pitched in. In July, the teachers collected their supplies.
“It was so cool to see the community come together, and the teachers receive their carts,” Griffin said.
Geiger has secured five other local businesses to help continue supporting local schools. “I am thankful that he wants to give back to the community as much as I do,” Griffin said. “I am grateful to have had so many opportunities growing up in Cherokee County.”
Nancy Griffin is proud of her daughter’s inspiration. “Erin being an education major at Reinhardt has really opened my own eyes and brought attention to Geiger Legal Group of all the sacrifices teachers make and how hard they work,” she said.
This semester, Griffin is student-teaching in a fifth grade class at Hickory Flat Elementary School. Reinhardt University wishes her and the rest of its student teachers a joyous and successful school year.
– Suzy Alstrin is the assistant director of media and public relations for Reinhardt University.