Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry: Go out and change the world, one act at a time

Published 12:52 pm Friday, June 2, 2017

On the wall in my office hangs a quote by Margaret Mead that reads, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Whether it’s providing a week’s worth of groceries, or assistance with a utility bill, or offering up a simple smile, we recognize that our actions, no matter how small, do impact lives.

There is another agency in our county that has had a similar impact on our lives, and that is the Polk County school system. As our staff has two seniors graduating next week, we pause to reflect on how teachers, coaches, and school staff have influenced our children.

For example, the Polk County High School Vocal Impressions choir performed a concert at the Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Tryon last week. The performance was excellent and illustrated the passion and attention to detail that the choral director, Mr. Matt Guffey, possesses. The choir’s excellence is a reflection of both hard work and the investment made by the school.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

On numerous occasions over the years, including this concert, I have personally seen many teachers and members of the school administration attend extracurricular activities in support of our students. I have participated in many meetings and witnessed the concern our school system has for the development, safety, and welfare of our children.

So why focus this month on the school system? Because our public schools provide both educational and extracurricular opportunities to all members of our community equally, regardless of socioeconomic status. If a student has the desire to improve themselves, the opportunity is there in our schools.

Polk County Schools are ranked as the second highest performing school system in North Carolina. We have a nationally recognized early college, a top notch band, a working farm, caring counselors, competitive sports teams and much more – all available to every student and directed by a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens. Now it’s time for our 2017 high school and early college graduates to go out and change the world, one act at a time!

If you would like to learn more about our mission and programs, please visit us online at