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Car line greetings get Horse Creek Academy students in gear for positive new school year

August 8, 2018

For Horse Creek Academy students, Tuesday was the first day of a new school year. For Michelle Green, the school’s reading coach, it was “move-in” day.

As part of their commitment to the charter school, parents and guardians brought bags and boxes of school supplies and other items, such as paper towels and trash bags, to help teachers stock their classrooms.

“The colleges and universities have their move-in days, and the first day at HCA is kind of like move-in day with all the parents bringing in the supplies teachers request,” Green said. “If we have parents donate those items, we don’t have to budget them out of our general operating fund, and that’s more money that can go into the classrooms.”

Green started the day – her 14th year at HCA – directing traffic in the car line before the sun came up over the pines on the eastern horizon, and that’s exactly where she wanted to be.

“It’s one of my favorite things to do, standing there with that stop sign,” she said. “It allows me to greet the students and give them a positive start to their day. The first day of school is so fresh and full of optimism with high hopes for a successful year. That’s the spirit we try to keep going throughout the year in the car line each morning.”

Mellanie Johnson waited for Green to hold up her stop sign before wheeling a cart loaded with classroom supplies for teachers into school. Her granddaughter, Kylie Burnett, is a seventh-grader.

“The teachers have a wish list of things they need for their classrooms such as colored paper, copier paper, pencils – never enough pencils – erasers, notebook paper, hand sanitizer, wipes. You name it,” Johnson said.

As a charter school, Horse Creek Academy asks parents and guardians to volunteer their time and resources to ensure students’ academic success, and her donations are a way to give back, Johnson said. As a retired special education teacher, Johnson added she knows the sacrifices teachers make for their students.

“These teachers work really hard, and it makes their jobs a little bit easier,” she said. “So many teachers take so much out of their own pay to do the right things for the students. This gives them a financial break.”

Executive Director Dr. Frank Roberson called Tuesday “a great first day.”

“The parents and the teachers put the necessary time in to prepare the students for a highly successful beginning,” he said. “Just sitting observing the movement of the students, you would think they were away from school for only the weekend, an entire summer.”

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