Madison Avenue Elementary hosts Community Helper Day

Madison Avenue Elementary hosts Community Helper Day


MADISON — Madison Avenue Elementary students were paid a visit Friday morning by Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler, the police and fire departments, Public Works, and many more to learn the ins and outs of city government. 

MAE kindergarten teacher Drew Davis said she worked closely with Community Partners Director Amy Cummins to put the event on in conjunction with a two-week unit where students learn about the community helpers. 

“The Public Works Department comes out and brings their equipment to let the kids see how it works and tell them what they do for the city,” Davis said. “They do that along with other departments such as the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Mayor, Webster Animal Shelter, the police department, fire department, waste management, and the Madison County Library System.” 

Davis said the event started off as a parade in 2020 but grew bigger over the last three years with other community helpers participating such as the Madison Post Office and even Chick-Fil-A. 

Throughout the morning, students moved in groups to different stations on the Madison Avenue Elementary campus to learn things from each department, like receiving helmets from the MDRS, making their own banana pudding with instruction from Mama Hamil’s staff, touring the Madison County Library System bus, and interacting with first responders. 

Hawkins-Butler had her own station where she explained her job to the students, joined by her own mascot, Mary Berry. 

“We’re just utilizing our resources a bit to let the kids have some fun because that’s what it’s all about,” Davis said. “We wanted them to see that our community has so many various resources at their fingertips that they don’t realize are community service people.” 

She said the biggest impact of the event is each student getting to see the importance of community helpers and hopes it will give the kids an opportunity to change their mind about what they want to do later in life. 

“The hands-on experience is the best part of the event to me, and I know the kids think so too,” Davis said. “They get to have their helmets fitted, they get to touch the dogs, talk to people, get on the library bus, and more. It’s important to show kids there are multiple areas they can plant themselves in long-term. We’re super thankful to work with Amy Cummins and the city and they make planning this super easy. The kids are super excited.” 

Madison Avenue Elementary Principal Melissa Philley said it’s important for her students to know they are in a community that works together and really cares about one another. 

“They learn to respect the people they see out in the community every day,” Philley said. “We love Madison and we are so happy when people from the community come to our school and the kids get a chance to meet them.” 

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