Butler County Education Retirees Helping Displaced Students Get Back on Track

Butler County has on average 160 homeless students each year

The Butler County Education Retirees Association is working hard to make a difference this holiday season.

“Once an education employee, always an education employee,” said President Wayne Boswell.

Boswell says the 65-member group is busy with canned food drives and scholarship fundraisers.

“Those who work in education, whether you be a teacher, a bus driver or cafeteria worker or whatnot, we want to serve students,” he said.

And now they’ve taken on a new task.

“It’s our students that come to us at a disadvantage,” said Rheta McClain, Federal Programs Director, Butler County Schools. “Sometimes it’s clothing because we have uniforms and they may not be able to provide or have the funds for the clothing.”

The association has joined a statewide initiative to assist displaced students. Butler County has on average 160 homeless students each year.

“Some go from home to home every single night and sleeping in cars and even some we have in hotels and motels,” said McClain.

Monetary donations go a long way in helping those students get essential items.

Alabama Education Retirees Association Executive Director Janice Charlesworth says it’s a calling.

“Local units really are the foundation of AERA,” said Charlesworth. “These folks may leave public education, but they don’t leave the children and the place in their heart that they have. They may not be in the classroom, but they’re still supporting the community.”

It’s something Boswell takes to heart as his group helps give less fortunate students the tools to succeed.

“Just gives you a great satisfaction to know that we’re all working together to assist our community,” said Boswell.

The Alabama Education Retirees Association has 25,000 members throughout the state. There is at least one local unit in each Alabama county.

If you’re a former educator or just want to help the Butler County Education Retirees Association assist displaced students, you can contact them at (334) 382-5002.

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