It takes more than staff members to make the Rock Hill school district function.
Each day, countless volunteers and community groups help in some way to make the dozens of schools and programs in the district work for students.
On Wednesday, the Rock Hill school district gathered to honor some of the best of the best.
The district’s annual Community Awards event, held at the Events at Manchester, honored individuals or groups, such as churches and businesses – all had made an outstanding impact in a school or program in Rock Hill, district officials said.
“You are invaluable to us,” said superintendent Kelly Pew to the hundreds of administrators and honorees in the room. She remarked how excited she was to be at her first Community Awards since becoming superintendent in May.
Each school or instructional program got to nominate volunteers or groups that exceeded expectations in assisting Rock Hill students, said Serena Williams, coordinator of community services. The district then selected those who would be honored.
One of the groups was the Monday morning women’s Bible study group from Oakland Baptist church, nominated for their work at Ebinport Elementary School.
The Bible study group collected winter clothing and hygiene products for students on the school’s “Safety Patrol” and students in need.
When asked why her group got involved, Bible study group member Becca Collins said, “We see a need.”
Seven members of the are retired teachers and one is a retired principal.
“The women know you have to be warm and comfortable to be able to learn,” Collins said.
Another group recognized at Wednesday’s event was the EarthFare store in Rock Hill, nominated by Oakdale Elementary School.
EarthFare frequently provides healthy snacks for teacher events and for outdoor activities such as field days or the school’s “Fun Run,” said community relations manager Alex Robinson, who is a product of the Rock Hill school district.
One of EarthFare’s missions is to help end childhood obesity, so getting involved in the schools helps work toward that mission.
“We’re all in it together,” Robinson said. “We’re all in this town and we have to help contribute to others.”