Reinhardt University and the RU football program were honored as Partners in Education by the Cherokee County School District at an awards ceremony on April 19.
The University was honored as R.M. Moore Elementary School’s Partner in Education of the Year. Every year, Reinhardt University spearheads the Giving Tree project during the holidays. The University puts up a Christmas tree with tags of items some of the R.M. Moore families need, including new clothing items and toys. RU faculty, staff and students purchase the gifts, wraps them and returns them to the school to be distributed to the parents. In addition, Reinhardt provides gift baskets for some of the school’s events such as Bingo Night. Reinhardt faculty and staff also have participated in the classrooms at R.M. Moore by reading to the students.
“It shows that we support each other, and it’s that sense of community,” said Principal Jan Adamson. “We are up here, we don’t have a lot of businesses to support us, and Reinhardt has been there to support us.”
Adamson said the RU Softball team has volunteered at the school’s fall festival, including setting up and running the haunted house. The basketball team, she said, also has volunteered their time at the elementary school. RU’s Chaplain, the Rev. Jordan Thrasher, has arranged for families in need at the school to get meals, and he also brought students to the campus on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to participate in community service.
“For the young students to see college students in their classrooms is invaluable,” Adamson said. “It helps our students get on the right track that if they want to go to college, it is obtainable.”
The Reinhardt University Football Team and head coach, Drew Cronic, were awarded Partner in Education of the Year for Clayton Elementary School. Cronic said the players participate in festivals at the school, including the annual fall festival. They also visit the school and read to the students. “The program is a win-win,” Cronic said, “because it gives the young students role models to look up to and it gives the football players a chance to give back.”
“Obviously, the kids love it when these big guys show up in their jerseys and read and spend time with them,” Cronic said. “Our guys love going over there. They have a blast and want to go back. And in a lot of ways, we are creating fans. You go out and engage with these students, and they want to be involved with you and the program.”