Decade long partnership between school and Masons keeps kids at their best


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Students may already be breaking in their new book bags, pencils and pens, but a new shipment just came in at one Richmond County school and it carries a lot more than the essential tools. Thousands of students attend Richmond County schools, but sometimes not everyone going to class will be prepared.  That’s why there are organizations in the CSRA excited about filling that gap.

“If you don’t have tools you can’t do the job,” said New Era Masonic Lodge 107 Worshipful Master Verdere Philpot.  He and Senior Stewart, Bro. Tarquinius Smith dropped off several items students will need to complete the year.

While students are two weeks into the school year, the items are still needed.

“At the beginning of the school year all kids have school supplies. But by the time the nine weeks end, there are no pencils, there is no paper,” said Valarie Nixon, Parent Facilitator.

The brothers donated everything from composition books to writing utensils and loose leaf paper as part of their mission to build a community.

Worshipful Master Philpot told me, “We’ve had the partnership about 10 years now and we do a school drive and we also do a Christmas drive.”

Nixon replied, “This really comes in handy for us to distribute to the kids as needed.”

While teachers save a buck or two thanks to the donations the partnership with the Lodge also goes a long way.

“We try to do it once a quarter,” Smith stated. “We also try to attend PTA meetings, student council meetings and communicate with staff to find out what goes on within the school, what do they need and how can we assist students in the school.”

The members tell me they also meet with students during lunch hour as mentors at Bayvale.  They are hoping other organizations follow their lead.

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