BRYAN, Texas — St. Andrews Episcopal Church continues to support students at Neal Elementary School. The church partnered with the school to hold its annual scholarship celebration Friday but recognized students in a social distancing way.
Each year the Bryan ISD elementary school holds a fourth grade academic ceremony before school is over, but due to COVID-19 that could not happen as planned.
"The fourth grade teachers and I got together and we were like, 'there is no way our kids can leave without us celebrating them, wishing them well and just let them know how proud we are of them,'" said Juanita Collins, the principal at Neal Elementary School.
Teachers and staff created a drive through ceremony to recognize their students before they go off to intermediate school.
Students were dropped off right in front of the school and then walked to the stage to collect their awards and achievements. As that is going on, family and friends were able pictures and cheer on their fourth grader while they were in their car.
St. Andrews Episcopal Church awarded $1000 scholarships to Neal Elementary School to ten fourth grade students at the ceremony. The church has held St. Andrew’s Scholars Scholarship Program since 2007.
"St. Andrews has been our faithful partners for (nearly) 15 years and every year they invest in our students," Collins said. "They see the best and greatness in them right now the way that we do."
The scholarships are held in an account at the Bryan Education Foundation then grow with interest and are awarded to the students when they graduate from high school.
"A number of these will be first [generation] in college. We want to make them realize that college is something they can do," Lawis Ford, a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.
St. Andrews has adopted Neal Elementary School and the faith-based partner makes an impact at the school year-round.