MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and prominent leaders of local faith-based organizations are announcing the new "One Church One School" initiative.
The initiative urges more support from the faith-based community to help improve student achievement and strengthen neighborhoods.
Outside of the Shelby County Board of Education building, dozens of church leaders and stakeholders in the Mid-South gathered to push for the religious community to do more to better the school district.
"Black, white, red, and yellow faith leaders, this is a call for all faith leaders, Christians, Jewish, Muslim, believers and unbelievers to come together to support America's most important resource, our children to make sure that they receive an excellent education," Bishop Henry Williamson said.
"We want parents involved!" Bishop E. Lynn Brown said. "We got to get parents involved. It starts in the home and that's what we're going to do."
Williamson said the new One Church, One School Initiative is a community partnership launched by the CME Church. The initiative is already active in 25 states.
They are asking for believers to join programs in the church and at schools to mentor and educate children.
SCS said this meeting and the program do not violate the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment--which is often summarized by Thomas Jefferson's phrase "separation of church and state."
"Because we're talking about values, we're not going and waving our Bibles, our texts or our Torahs," Williamson said. "We're going in about values that we all hold common here in America that come from the Constitution of the United States."
Going forward, Williamson said several churches will offer programs on Saturday to help tutor children in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and morals.
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson did not speak at the event.
If people are interested in volunteering or adopting a school, they can call the Community Engagement line at 901-416-7600.