FirstWorks at The Corners – A New Partnership!

23 Oct

Jamie Smily & Shmyhia Thomas

First Works Volunteer Jamie Smiley, left, sits with first grader Shmyhia Thomas, right, during dinner time.

“FirstWorks at The Corners” is excited to begin its new school year this September at Highland Heights United Methodist Church.

This academic-based, after school program enrolls ”at risk” children and youth from zip codes surrounding the corner of Summer and Highland.

The program meets once a week on Tuesday evenings.  Their parents drop the excited children off at the church at 6:00 p.m. as the “Kitchen Angels,” adult volunteers who cook and serve dinner, greet them with warm smiles and open arms.

A nutritious home-cooked meal, fellowship and laughter around the table, is followed by study time in the classroom or computer lab.  Tutors, some of them Memphis City School Teachers, provide guidance, discipline, and assistance with homework assignments and school projects.

Spending quality time with mature adults one-on-one provides these children, many who are categorized as “near homeless,” with role models in not only academics, but also in compassion, etiquette, and teamwork.

In addition to a focus on school work, the program also invites guest speakers for the children to listen to in the areas of career and finance.  The children are treated to special outings on occasional Saturdays.

FirstWorks strives to give these deserving children a chance.  The lessons learned at here help increase their self-worth and encourage their personal best in school, career and life.

Amy Pearson, FirstWorks new Director, is excited about the partnership that has brought the program to the present day.

“The Corners of Highland” has partnered with St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and Highland Heights United Methodist Church to support this unique 501 c 3 mission program.

Pearson has just completed the first volunteers’ orientation at the church since the merging of these organizations.

This year, FirstWorks has enrolled first grade through middle school students.

To find out more about FirstWorks, to donate, or to volunteer as a “Kitchen Angel” or tutor, please call 901.452.6262 or email

FirstWorks teacher and volunteer orientation

FirstWorks teacher and volunteer orientation was completed Tuesday September 4th at Highland Heights United Methodist Church.
Left to right standing, first row:
Sarah Root, Amanda Joy holding her son, Charlie Joy, Sandi Eley, Peggy Pryor Johnson, Amy Pearson, FirstWorks Director, Fred Morton, Carrie Ann Rohrscheib holding her son, Ellis Brewer
Left to right standing, second row:
Brenda Pryor, Judith Nyabando, Joy Johnson, Bobbie McCarty, Vicki Terry, Wanda Jean Meredith, Marilyn Lee, Rocky Tejoda