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Sue Guinn Legg

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Belk assists Jonesborough Elementary School

June 14th, 2013 10:17 pm by Sue Guinn Legg

Belk assists Jonesborough Elementary School

Belk associates prepare a new picnic table for the elementary school's use. (Tony Duncan/Johnson City Press)

Jonesborough Elementary School has a new booster.

In celebration of the Belk company’s 125th anniversary, the Johnson City Belk store has adopted Jonesborough Elementary, and on Friday sent about 10 of its associates to the school to spend the day helping out.

Their work projects included construction of two new sets of classroom bookshelves, a new picnic table for the school playground and creation of a colorful new mural for the building’s common area.

And there were gifts, a collection of more than 125 new and gently used children’s books and a surprise wardrobe makeover for Principal Lisa Lady-Broyles, new clothes and makeup from Belk to help Lady-Broyles begin the new school year refreshed.

To celebrate the 125 years Belk stores have been supported by the communities where they do business, Johnson City Store Manager Jeff Medford said, “Every store in the company got to choose a school to adopt.”

“We looked for schools that could use it, and I found out this morning that here at this school 65 percent of the children qualify for free and reduced-price meals. So they definitely need it. And we’re more than happy to help them out,” Medford said.

While Friday’s project was part of Belk’s 125 days of service to be carried out at schools across the Southeast through July 10, Medford said it was just the beginning what will be an ongoing relationship between the Johnson City Belk store and Jonesborough Elementary.

There is already a Magic Reading Rug project in the pipeline for the school in which the store will donate a large rug in fabrics selected by the school for students to circle around on return trips by Belk store volunteers who will be returning to the children.

And upon learning that Jonesborough Elementary’s new picnic table will replace one of three heavily used and deteriorating tables on the playground, Medford told school bookkeeper Benita Ford, “I’ll see if there’s a way we can get you two more tables.”

“It’s awesome,” Ford said of the gifts the school received Friday. “We’ll get a lot of use out of it.”

Medford said, “Our big thing is this year is all about community because we didn’t make it 125 years without our communities supporting us. Belk’s focus for years has been on children’s education ... and that continues. They’ll be the ones taking care of us when we’re older, so we want to be sure we take care of them.

“All schools have needs, some more than others. And this one is very deserving. So we’ll be getting with the principal to see where else we can help them out.”

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