New Jerusalem Church members mentor Kirby students

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 1:49 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - “Some teachers might feel like this is the end of my career. This is a dead-end proposition,” New Jerusalem Church Reverend Angus Thompson said.

Kirby Middle School is in need of help to sustain their school. So, one church in Wichita Falls stepped in to do whatever they can.

Church members from New Jerusalem Church are volunteering to mentor students. Kirby Middle School has experienced a decline in their academic achievement over the last few years. Now parishioners are stepping in to try to help.

“Let the district know that you do have people in Wichita Falls that really, truly cares for the kids,” mentor Alonzo Nelson said.

Mentors at New Jerusalem Church are throwing their names in the hat to be a familiar face at Kirby Middle School. Kirby is struggling with academic growth, but this could all turn around with mentors like Alonso Nelson and Rachel Myers.

READ: The future of Kirby Middle School

Nelson has already spent time with the students at Kirby. He talked to them about their future, achievements and goals.

“What do you want to be when you grow up? Some of them said ‘I want to be a professional athlete,’ some of them said ‘I want to be a doctor.’ One boy said ‘I want to be a nurse’ and some of them said they want to be attorneys,” Nelson said.

Thompson of said there’s more to Kirby Middle School than most people can remember.

“It was a Magnet school. A school that others wanted to emulate. Kirby has produced millionaires, doctors, lawyers, all of that. Sometimes we forget that past, that rich heritage from Kirby,” Thompson said.

“They were excited to see us, they were really glad to see us there and it felt like somebody really cared about them. Actually, when I went home I was excited and I’m ready to go back,” Nelson said.

If things don’t turn around, the state could take over the Wichita Falls ISD or shut Kirby Middle School down.

“A lot of things could happen and it won’t be good,” Thompson said. “The neighborhood would continue to decay if that occurs, teachers would lose their jobs if that occurs, and our students would be bused God knows where if that occurs. So it’s in the best interest to save Kirby and to upgrade Kirby. That’s in the best interest.”

“New Jerusalem believes in community involvement and having an impact in the community, even if it’s making a small difference in a child’s life,” mentor Rachel Myers said.

Thompson had a conversation with State Representative James Frank and has started a fund for Kirby. The church needs more volunteers and is asking the community to help mentor students.