Sharla Godwin has witnessed the impact of WIRED Ministries personally, so she knew who to call when Dothan City Schools officials initiated a consolidation project late last year.
Officials with WIRED, a local missions camp that attracts more than 1,000 participants a year, announced Tuesday they will send 25 of their 89 ministry teams to assist in the Dothan City Schools consolidation efforts. Four schools will close as part of the consolidation effort, and numerous other changes are occurring as part of the realignment.
WIRED executive director Mark Anderson said providing assistance when Godwin, who works in the DCS maintenance/facilities department, called made complete sense given the camp’s yearly goals.
“Our mission statement is WIRED exists to unite the student ministries throughout the Wiregrass to serve our community and to grow our participants in their relationship with Christ,” he said at a press conference at Beverlye Magnet School. “This is, in our opinion, the greatest need in our community. For us to have the opportunity to be able to help meet that need is a blessing for us.”
Participants in the camp attend worship services at night and learn Biblical lessons throughout each day. Additionally the campers tackle numerous projects throughout the week – ranging from construction projects to sports camps to assistance with social ministries.
Godwin said she has served as a chaperone at WIRED before and knew the organization could address the logistical challenges the DCS consolidation would provide. That is why she reached out to the organization in January, the time when WIRED officials usually begin compiling lists of projects for the next camp.
Godwin and other DCS officials – including Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Accountability Lee Jacobs – have been communicating regularly with Anderson and his team since. Now that schools have dismissed for the summer, WIRED officials are finalizing the best plans for the moving of materials when the camp begins on June 23, Anderson said.
“I would say the plan is still a work in progress. We’re trying to get it finalized,” he said. “What we do know is the scope of work.”
WIRED will dedicate one team each to the four closing schools – Grandview Elementary, Honeysuckle Middle, Montana Magnet and Cloverdale Elementary – since a bulk of work remains at those locations. Anderson said the teams there will aim to move all the necessary materials and clean up the buildings.
Ten other teams will assist in moving projects at other schools, while 11 other teams will paint common areas and hallways at 11 of the 13 remaining DCS schools. The two schools WIRED campers will not address – Dothan Preparatory Academy and the relocated Dothan High School – will undergo significant construction work this summer.
WIRED has received donations of eight 53-foot trailers and drivers from AMX (five) and Covan Worldwide (three) to assist in the moves. Anderson said WIRED officials will rent several other smaller trucks to handle other tasks.
Jacobs said the timing of the camp fits well into DCS’ schedule and provides an untold financial blessing to the school system.
“It saves us time. While they are working on that, we’re able to work on other things that we need to get done, too,” she said. “Financially we don’t have to rent trucks, movers –which is a daily rate. They are doing that out of the kindness of their hearts.”
Jacobs noted WIRED Ministries sends teams of helpers, which provides more labor than DCS can dedicate to the move on any given day.
“It would probably be 10 or 20 trucks with one person over here, one person over there,” she said. “They’re able to come in with a team and make it more efficient.”
Anderson said approximately 400 campers or more will assist DCS in the consolidation project.
DCS Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Edwards said she appreciated WIRED’s assistance in a monumental task.
“We’re grateful to WIRED for their help this summer. I’m really impressed by their organization,” she said. “We’re taking on a great deal. Now enter this group of people, and what they’re going to help us with is really a true gift.”