Presbyterian School believes that the school experience is not just about what happens through the end of students’ time with us—it’s about what happens to them for a lifetime. The training and lessons our students receive—or do not receive—during their years with us will have an impact not only on their character but on the choices they make in high school, in college, and (dare we say it?) beyond.
At Presbyterian School, our goal is for every student to be involved with service to our community. We believe that service provides needed perspective by reminding us all to be more like Jesus, “to serve and not be served (Matthew 20:28).” Our grade level service projects and schoolwide service drives highlight the importance of giving back and gratitude. Click here to view our projects.
By means of creative programs in local and regional communities, we are taking up the task of training the next generation of leaders to understand that some of the greatest achievements of our time have been borne out of courageous service and that some of our most successful leaders subscribe to the adage that true leadership is about action and not position.
This week, PS hosted an annual schoolwide book drive to benefit Books Between Kids which distributes more than 2.3 million books to over 500,000 children in 44 zip codes throughout Greater Houston. The School collected thousands of books. While the PS Book Drive typically benefits Books Between Kids, this year, 4th grade students were inspired to share some of the book donations and make them available to their Nehemiah Center buddies which they see on a weekly basis.
From the very generous contributions, Nehemiah students were able to pick from over 200 age-appropriate books at a book fair specifically designed for them. “One service project that was most impactful on me when I was at Presbyterian School as a student, was working with Nehemiah Center.” said School Chaplain, Brenton Smith. “The lasting relationship has been so fruitful and has such an impact, especially resonating with alumni, because of the sweet relationships made between the students."
"We were trying to brainstorm a way to echo a tangible gift alongside the relational gift that we have with Nehemiah. Since our fourth graders already read to the students and encourage this love for books and reading, we found a natural fit to benefit the Nehemiah Center with our already established school-wide book drive.” PS wanted to create a model similar to what Books Between Kids does and distribute gently-used books to children we know and see every week who live at or below the poverty line.
4th grade students combed through the book donations and picked out books for their Nehemiah Center buddies to choose from. The Nehemiah students were beyond thrilled to not only pick out fun new books, but to have their 4th grade buddies read to them, share a snack, and enjoy some outdoor play on the playground!
Smith added, “I think this is an easy win as we already have a great partnership with the Nehemiah Center and Books Between Kids and we are carrying on both of their missions. What a great way to further both of the partnerships encouraging the love for reading!”
A huge thank you to everyone who donated to the book drive this week and the Servant Leadership Parent Committee for helping! We collected over 3,000 books to benefit TWO great organizations, Books Between Kids and the Nehemiah Center!
The Nehemiah Center
The Nehemiah Center’s mission is to provide assistance to low income families who are invested in seeking a better future for their children through education, emotional wellness and spiritual enrichment.
Our motto is “Neighbors helping neighbors create a safe haven in which children are motivated, inspired and equipped to realize their God-given potential”.
Books Between Kids
Amy Barnes and Sandra Ahlhorn started off holding book drives in their children’s elementary schools for several years, motivated by the realization that many Houston children do not have books in their homes. Collected books were donated to a few local elementary schools with children in need.
Now in our 10th year of operations, we have grown from a small organization that impacts a few hundred children to one that has distributed more than 2.3 million books to over 500,000 children in 44 zip codes throughout Greater Houston. We started with one program, Book Celebrations on the campuses of our partner schools, and now we operate three programs to distribute books: Book Celebrations, Community Partners, and the Book A Month program. Children often become first-time book owners because of Books Between Kids.