One + One Launch
February 22, 2018
| By Julianne Harris
Last Saturday morning, leaders in public school advocacy gathered in support of a new initiative that will connect faith communities with every Dallas ISD school. One+One, as it’s called, was born of a partnership among Pastors For Texas Children, First United Methodist Church of Dallas, Dallas ISD and the Dallas ISD African American Success Initiative, and will be led by Executive Director Jason Lewis.
It’s fitting that One+One should be born of such shared interests because it exists to celebrate the principles of partnership, fellowship and accountability. By partnering faith communities with Dallas ISD schools, One+One will advocate for every Dallas ISD student, teacher and staff person. “We have become the spear of public education advocacy,” said Rev. Charlie Johnson, Founder of Pastors for Texas Children, and One+One strives to remind the Dallas community that every child from every neighborhood deserve access to the highest quality of education.
Dr. Andy Stoker, Senior Minister at First United Methodist Church of Dallas, and Rev. Charlie Johnson have been pursuing this vision for over 4 years and are eager to provide tangible assistance to public schools devoid of any faith tradition. One+One serves at the discretion and direction of the school’s principal and administrators, with hopes that these partnerships will mirror the assistance First United Methodist Church, Dallas volunteers continue to bring JJ Rhoads Elementary in the ways of tutoring, administrative assistance, parent engagement, teacher appreciation, field trip chaperoning and more.
One+One welcomes all faith communities to participate and to celebrate the diversity of DFW. Under the leadership of Jason Lewis and with the help of the DISD African American Success Initiative, One+One’s short term goal is to connect 100 faith communities with 20 Dallas ISD schools this year, so that by 2023 every Dallas ISD school will be bolstered by a faith partnership. Lewis graduated from Duke Divinity School and is a former public school teacher. His primary role will be to connect schools with faith communities so that together we may be reminded of God’s assurance: “You are not alone. Do not be afraid.”