Coordinator Spotlight: I had the privilege of interviewing Caroline Greenwald, church coordinator for Immanuel Nashville Church. Below she shares about her experience serving students, teachers, and administrators at Park Avenue Elementary!
What led you to become the church coordinator for Immanuel Nashville Church?
Caroline: I was a first grade teacher in Metro Nashville Public Schools for three years before I decided to stay home with my young kids. When I heard about the partnership our church had with Park Avenue Elementary, I knew it was the perfect way for me to continue loving and serving the students of Nashville in my new season of life.
How does the leadership team operate at your church?
Caroline: Our leadership team consists of four individuals who have been committed to loving and serving the Park Avenue community for a long time. Each leadership team member is responsible for spearheading our initiatives in one pillar of impact. For example, the person who is over staff encouragement will do the majority of the dreaming, initiating and coordinating volunteers for any opportunities that fall into that category.
What are some ways that your church has been able to engage Park Avenue Elementary?
Caroline: Over the past few years, we have had tutors (in the school, online and now outside during recess) who work with students one-on-one or in small groups to address specific learning needs. We also love to encourage the faculty and staff through monthly birthday treats and quarterly meals during inservice days. During the holiday season, we collect Kroger gift cards for under-resourced families to enjoy Thanksgiving meals and coats for students who do not have them. At the end of the school year, we throw a celebration for the graduating class of students to recognize their achievements and encourage them as they go on to middle school.
How do you communicate volunteer opportunities to church members?
Caroline: This is definitely a work in progress for us. Over the past few years, the majority of our communication has actually happened through our church’s Facebook page for members. I do believe that it is best to share opportunities in a variety of ways, which is why we are working to include communication in our church’s weekly emails as well as through Sunday morning services.
What advice would you give a new church coordinator or a coordinator that is still trying to figure out how to best engage their partner school?
Caroline: Be consistent and be present. Show your partner school that you and your church care by serving them and encouraging them (write letters to teachers, send cookies to faculty meetings, etc.). If it is difficult to determine what the needs are, find a way to love them in the meantime so that when a need does pop up, they know to come to you.
Thank you, Caroline! If you would like to be featured in a coordinator spotlight, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org