You know your students are taking Reinhardt’s values to heart of 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 current teachers in Cherokee County. In May, she received a scholarship from the Cherokee Retired Educators Association (CREA). At that event, Griffin and her mother, Nancy, were surprised to hear of a school that doesn’t have a Parent Teacher Organization to insure 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, due to financial gaps, teachers need to spend their own time, money, and resources to make the school what it needs to be. Rather than celebrating Griffin’s award, she and her mother didn’t hesitate to try 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.”
Casey Geiger and his staff agreed to help. They volunteered at the Ralph Bunche Center's Field Day to get better acquainted. With Griffin's guidance, they created 23 teacher carts that included laminators and all kinds 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. A public vote was held for the deserving educators. In July, the teachers collected their supplies. “It was so cool to see the community come together, and the teachers receive their carts,” said Griffin.
Geiger has secured five other local businesses to help them continue to support local schools. “I am thankful that he wants to give back to the community as much as I do,” says Griffin, “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."
This semester, Griffin is student-teaching in a 5th-grade class at Hickory Flat Elementary School. Reinhardt University wishes her and the rest of our student teachers a joyous and successful school year.