Loving Your Neighbor: John B. Cary Elementary School

As a church located in the middle of the City of Richmond, we are not lacking in neighbors–other communities of worship, homes, schools, businesses...the list goes on. And as residents of this great city, hardly a moment goes by that we don’t have a wonderful opportunity to live out the good calling God places on our lives to be good neighbors.

(Image courtesy of John B. Cary Elementary)

(Image courtesy of John B. Cary Elementary)

Over the last year, a group of City Church members has chosen to follow and live out that good calling at John B. Cary Elementary School located in the Byrd Park neighborhood. Through the MICAH Initiative, which helps connect communities of faith to volunteer opportunities in Richmond City Public Schools, these individuals have been able to minister to students in this elementary school through mentoring and tutoring, helping and challenging them as they engage their young minds in a particularly crucial time for learning and development. And these City Church members have been challenged as well.

Liz Crim was interested in tutoring at John B. Cary because she wanted to help kids who were living in poverty or didn’t have a lot of resources. She has been using time during her lunch breaks from her office job to tutor these students and help with their reading comprehension, which is a huge indicator for future learning and success in higher levels of education. Liz sees her service to these young students as an opportunity to not only further their education, but also as an amazing opportunity to share and display the love of Christ. She says, “Even though I can’t overtly share the gospel because of the public school setting, I try to interact with the students in a way that displays a Christ-like compassion and patience and acknowledges their inherent dignity and worth as one made in God’s image.” Liz strives to see the students she works with as more than just a test score, but as uniquely created individuals possessing the seemingly unlimited potential of youth.

Liz serves alongside many other volunteers. Through the MICAH initiative, Liz and half a dozen other City Church members serve together with volunteers from more than 125 faith communities in the Richmond area volunteering at 23 different schools impacting hundreds of lives of students, family members and faculty and staff. City Church is proud and grateful to partner with Richmond Public Schools in this effort to improve education throughout the city and love these children.

If you are interested in joining this group in serving at John B. Cary Elementary school, we would love for you to join us! There are three ways to get involved as another school year begins:

1. Be a tutor. Times are flexible, but finding a weekly time you can be there for an hour would be best.

2. There is a significant and immediate need for a volunteer teaching aid for the Special Education Classroom. This could be anywhere from an hour a week, to a weekly or daily commitment.

3. City Church will take part in a workday at Cary Elementary on Saturday, October 15th, 9am to 2pm, to help with much-needed maintenance and beautification. If you can paint, dig, rake, spread mulch, or help clean we'd love to have you!

If you are interested in any or all of these opportunities please contact Stephen Day, City Church Liaison for John B. Cary at stephenday01@gmail.com, or Brandon Lowe, City Church Deacon at brandonmlowe@gmail.com.