Tag: Westerly Hills Academy

January 29, 2018

To be sure all our students at Westerly Hills Academy have weekend meals, ten additional volunteer contributors to Project Backpack are needed. Please consider contributing to this ministry to make sure students come to school on Monday morning nourished and ready to learn. The commitment will be five bags per month, ending June 6. The shopping list can be found on the sign up link.

January 8, 2018

During an Opportunity Forum last October, Munro Richardson of Read Charlotte challenged our congregation to support literacy at Westerly Hills Academy in one of three ways:  1) help students gain regular access to books by building home libraries, 2) ensure students experience active reading three times per week, and 3) ensure every kindergartener knows his/her letters and phonics by May 2018.

We are putting our energy behind not one, but all three of these challenges—the next one comes up on January 16.

For the next challenge—encouraging active reading—we will sponsor parent dinners and training sessions at Westerly Hills. The first of these is scheduled for Tuesday, January 16, at 5:30 p.m. If you can help with these events, please contact Heather Herring.

Thanks to your generous response to our Christmas Book Drive, we presented each Westerly Hills student with two books to take home on December 18. We plan to add to these home libraries throughout the remainder of the school year. Look for additional collections of gently used books before Spring and Summer breaks.

For the third challenge, FPC members have been working with Read Charlotte and the Westerly Hills administration for two months to develop the curriculum and process around letters and phonics tutoring. We look forward to offering this opportunity to the congregation soon.


August 30, 2017

Make a difference in the life of a child this school year by helping out at Westerly Hills Academy.

Heart Math Tutoring: Heart volunteers provide one-on-one tutoring for 30 minutes or an hour each week from late September to early May. Sign up for slots Tuesdays through Fridays, 8:30-9:30 a.m. or 9:30-10:30 a.m. at

Augustine Project Literacy Tutoring: Tutor a struggling reader and become one of more than 130 Augustine tutors in our community who are changing students’ lives, one lesson at a time. Augustine Literacy Project provides free, one-on-one instruction in reading, writing and spelling to struggling low-income students. Training is offered this fall and winter. Sign up online for training.

Success Coaching: Communities In Schools (CIS) volunteers help Westerly Hills Academy students develop skills in goal setting and navigate making decisions. CIS Success Coaches meet with a student weekly (minimum of twice a month) at an established time during the school day. Interested?  Sign up for training online.

Work with one teacher all year: Spend one hour a week getting to know a Westerly Hills teacher and assisting specific students in his or her classroom. You can select the time and day that fits with your schedule.

If you can’t get to Westerly Hills during the school day, there are plenty of other ways to get involved.

Project Backpack: FPC believes no child should worry about where their next meal is coming from over the weekend. Provide a weekly food bag (individually or with a group) for a child at Westerly Hills Academy each week from October May. Four-five bags should be brought at the first of the month and placed in the grocery cart in the hallway behind the sanctuary. Sign up online.

Support a Teacher through the Apple Tree: Contribute to a classroom by purchasing items selected from the PW (Presbyterian Women) apple tree located in the historic lobby. Items are due by September 24.

Community Cleanup Day: Work with staff and parents to make Westerly Hills beautiful from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, October 7. The to-do list includes painting, gardening and a staff lounge makeover. If you can’t make the cleanup day, you can contribute garden soil, Keurig coffee makers (used is okay), K-cups (tea & coffee), curtains, rugs, chairs and paint for bathrooms (bright colors are great and used paint is fine). Items may be dropped off behind the sanctuary through Thursday, October 5. Sign up online.

Serve on a Ministry Team: If you have a passion for our programs but can’t get to Westerly Hills or church during the day, you can contribute by participating on a ministry team! Teams help organize and plan ministries like BELL summer camp, Camp Grier, holiday outreach and Project Backpack.  Contact Heather Herring for additional information.

Contact Heather Herring if you want to know more about any of these ways to support Westerly Hills Academy.

July 6, 2017

Welcome to summer! I hope you’re enjoying a slower pace in some way, maybe spending more time with family or even thumbing through a good book.

I wanted to share with you my thanksgiving for the ways God is using the stewardship dollars so many of you committed last fall to support our church’s mission and ministry.

Through the end of May our members’ pledge payments exceeded our budgeted amount by $96,675. I celebrate that First Presbyterian Church is a generous congregation, and that generosity continues to spill over!

The committed pledges of individuals and families allow us to plan confidently to do many things in Christ’s name:

  • feed the hungry
  • teach a third grader about the gift of God’s word in Scripture;
  • support our partnerships in Haiti and Mexico and Russia;
  • provide support for those who are grieving, and
  • lift our voices in praise through the gift of music on Sunday morning.

In all areas of our ministry we are doing the work of the Kingdom.

In 2017 one particular area of focus from our stewardship campaign was to respond to a call to support our local teachers. Charlotte Mecklenburg Superintendent Ann Clark challenged the faith community to support the recruitment and/or retention of excellent teachers by providing money to help them with child-care expenses. Superintendent Clark helped us see that too many teachers were choosing to leave the classroom because they could not afford daycare on their salary.

I am happy to report that First Pres stewardship dollars will be used by three teachers, all of whom work at our partner school, Westerly Hills Academy. The need for this help in retaining excellent teachers was so great that principal Malacy Williams decided to grant one teacher a full scholarship and split the second scholarship 50/50 between two additional teachers. One of the recipients teaches second grade literacy.  The second recipient teaches second grade math. The third recipient is an instructional coach for six teachers in K-5 literacy.

My gratitude overflows: for your generosity, for God’s faithfulness, and for the ways our church serves as an instrument for grace and healing and good in our community and world.

I look forward to seeing you in worship this summer, and appreciate so much who you are as a member of Christ’s body here on 200 West Trade Street.

– Pen Peery