NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - In Nacogdoches, students have just one more week of summer vacation, but it's already back to the books for their teachers. Many attempts are underway to make them feel welcomed back.
Elementary school teachers are learning how to have a connection with students in the subject of reading while the PTA attempts to connect with teachers by providing lunch.
"They're fabulous," said Kristin Thomas, NISD's English Department chair and a teacher at NHS. "Food is always fabulous and that's an excellent way to bring us all together."
Volunteer support will really take off on Monday, the first day of school. Elementary and middle schools will be greeted by a community pep rally of sorts.
"Just stand on our campuses that morning during drop off and then that afternoon during pickup and departures and just cheer," said Leisha Bryant, the volunteer services coordinator for NISD.
It's a simple, but perhaps effective way of showing the community cares about its schools and educators.
"I think it's a great way for the families to see that the community supports us," Bryant said. "It is a great way for the students to see that and for the teachers and staff."
NISD employs more than a thousand people, making it the third largest employer in Nacogdoches County. A strong community connection boosts teacher morale, but it's also vital toward the passage of a proposed school bond, following last year's defeat of a similar proposal.
"I'm optimistic that we now know more about how to share our voices outside our close circle, to allow that voice to become a part of a solution," Thomas said.
Community support can be shown over breakfast and lunch or prior to a day of learning. Educators say the simple gesture of thanks can go a long way in making the school year a success.