HARLETON — Teachers from Harleton ISD got a special treat as they started out their 2019-20 school year on Wednesday, thanks to a local church and its members.

Harleton First United Methodist Church Pastor Kate Turner and her fellow members turned up early Wednesday to prepare and serve a free breakfast to Harleton Junior High School teachers, and also loaded them up with donated school supplies and backpacks for their students in need.

“In years past, we have helped out the elementary school with supplies and we will continue to do so, but last year we had an extra and sent a backpack with supplies over to the junior high,” Turner said. “We got the nicest letter back from the junior high teacher, who said that so often, the elementary and the high school receive help but junior high students are often overlooked.

“That just really touched my heart, so I talked to our church members and we adopted the Harleton Junior High School this school year.”

Turner said the “adoption” started with a collection of supplies and backpacks for junior high students, followed by the breakfast for teachers that came with a special blessing on Wednesday.

“The junior high years are such an awkward age for students and God bless those teachers who work with them and care for them each day,” Turner said. “We will continue to help out with the junior high as we can throughout the school year and we will pray for every teacher and every student.”

Harleton Junior High School Principal Shane Wright said Turner and the church’s thoughtfulness means a lot to him and his teachers.

“It’s not just about the backpacks and the supplies,” Wright said. “It’s that the kids that receive them will be able to have something new, something that they’re not having to re-use from last year, and for them, that kind of levels the playing field both socially and emotionally.”

Harleton ISD students return to school on Aug. 14.