(Original article can be found here.)
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward was honored by the North Carolina Foundation for Public School Education as a 2017 “Champion for Children” at a gala held on May 5. Six honorees, including Bishop Ward, were recognized for supporting North Carolina public school children and ensuring that all students have access to a sound basic education.
Bishop Ward chose to accept the award on behalf of Congregations for Children (C4C), a shared-mission focus of the North Carolina Conference and the Western North Carolina Conference Church. In her comments, Bishop Ward said that of the 800 churches in the North Carolina Conference, 83 percent have partnership programs in place with public schools in their communities.
The goals of C4C are 1) helping students have their basic needs met – backpacks, school supplies, clothing; 2) helping students read by the third grade through literacy tutoring programs; 3) involving significant adults in the lives of every child, particularly male role models with training for men on being present in the schools; and 4) helping all the people of North Carolina understand the impact poverty has on the lives of children.
2017 Champions for Children include Terrence and Torry Holt, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Governor Roy Cooper (represented by his wife, Kristin), Communities in Schools of North Carolina, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and CEO Brad Wilson.
“I want to give honor to the laity and clergy in the North Carolina Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and in other communities of faith. I know many of you are engaged in similar partnerships that help children,” she said.
“Thank you for recognizing the contributions of thousands of volunteers who engage with our children day by day, week by week.”
The Champion for Children recipients were honored again on May 9 during a reception at the North Carolina Governor’s Mansion.
Bishop Ward attended a Governor’s Reception on May 9 with (l-r): Lisa Southerland, C4C coordinator of Harbor UMC (Wilmington), Governor Roy Cooper, Pat Litzinger (Conference C4C Coordinator), and Caroline Jackson (Food Coordinator for C4C’s “Read and Feed” program in Fairway District).