All Our Children Are Our Children
July 27, 2017
In recent years, FirstChurch’s commitment to raise social capital and bring equal opportunity to students across Dallas has manifested in myriad ways. Having originated as a Reading Partners collaboration, our partnership with JJ Rhoads Learning Center has evolved well beyond tutoring to include Rise funding, teacher appreciation luncheons, field trips and volunteer administrative assistance. Even in the summer months, FirstChurch has filled 72 volunteer positions to register families for the citywide Mayor’s Back To School Fair, and our own Back to School Drive will equip Dallas ISD students with supplies and uniforms for the new year.
In light of the work we are doing across Dallas, Dr. Andy Stoker now serves on the Dallas ISD Superintendent’s Advisory Council and advocates with Pastors for Texas Children. He was called to testify before the Texas Senate Education Committee in Austin last week. His statement in opposition of Senate Bill 2 echoed our advocacy of all Dallas students:
“Senators, thank you for your service to our State and all our kids.
I stand in opposition to Senate Bill 2 and vouchers in any form or name.
I am a United Methodist minister serving within the bounds of DISD and a parent of two DISD students.
As a Christian, I am interested in raising every child’s human capability and for our state to advocate for every child toward that capability.
We must not remove funding from an already financially strapped public school system to set aside for so-called “scholarships,” “grants, or “tax credits.”
My church is committed to supporting our neighborhood school, JJ Rhoads Learning Center, in South Dallas-Fair Park. We believe that by raising social capital we can together support every child in our school.
Both of my sons are in Dallas ISD schools. My family is invested in leadership for our school’s entire population.
In the spirit of school choice, I encourage each of you to choose our public school system, invest in all our kids by seeking the best for today envisioning a bright future for all Texans through the best education system — raising all our Texans’ capabilities.”
Thank you for allowing me the space/capacity to serve in this way.”
This Sunday, we look forward to welcoming Rev. Charles Foster Johnson, founder of Pastors for Texas Children, a statewide ecumenical organization mobilizing the faith community for public education ministry and advocacy. We invite you to join us in exploring new ways we can serve our children.