2020 might not seem like an opportune time to launch a new school. Yet as we all know, God works in surprising ways. This fall, Tim Goodwin and his team, began the inaugural year of Community First School in Hartford’s North End. Tim has been a friend of First Church for some years now. Not only is he the nephew of our beloved Marcia McCann (who faithfully served here for many years) but he is also a former Executive Director of Hartford City Mission. A few years ago, Tim stepped away from HCM to begin the development of Community First School. He, and his team, spent significant time listening to their community, seeking to understand the real needs families had for their children. The resulting school is an amazing feat of faith, perseverance, and creativity. Among the many things they’ve been confronted with this year is the continued challenge of racism in our nation. I see Community First School as a direct response to the ways in which racism has infiltrated the educational system of our nation. Community First School is a fresh idea, that while not explicitly Christian, is infused with the values that Jesus lived.
This Christmas season, we have the unique opportunity to bless Community First School by gifting them with much-needed books for the classroom. In our Connector, we’ll be setting up a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments (much like we did in years past with the Angel Tree program). The ornaments will be in the shape of a book. On them will be listed the title, author name, and ISBN number of a specific book. In some cases, the school is in need of multiple copies of the same title. Stop by and pick and ornament on the tree in the connecetor, purchase the book listed, and return your purchase to our book bin located next to the tree.
After the holidays, we’ll deliver the bin of new books to Tim and his team.
To learn more about Community First School, their program and hopes for the future,
browse their website at www.communityfirstschool.org.