School-Church Partnership


Read with a McNeal Elementary School Child

Most children whose families live at Falkner Farm go to McNeal Elementary School on Lorraine Road in Lakewood Ranch. Some of those students need your help in becoming better readers and achieving their full potential. In the new year, will you commit to read with one of them for an hour a week at McNeal? If so, contact Harvest member and McNeal 4th grade teacher Mindy Swartling via email.

While you’re serving at McNeal, you’ll see in action a donation that Harvest recently made to the school. Harvest donated 100 Amazon Fire 7 kids’ tablets that the McNeal staff will use with Falkner students to help them become better readers. The donation’s goal is to enhance the education of Falkner children by providing access to technology that will help ensure they have opportunities for success alongside their peers.



The people of Harvest serve the children and teachers of the school in lots of ways. 


 We just completed  two training opportunities on August 27 and September 5. Stay tuned for future opportunities to engage as a Reading Pal at Samoset.

Send questions and RSVP to Jessica Maxon-Berrier.

Click here to learn more about Reading Pals 


Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church SAMOSET REPORT

Serve the Children of Samoset by Volunteering in the Classroom
The people of Harvest serve the children and teachers of the school by reading to the children and helping with math, art, writing and science.  You can also be a mentor to a child and meet with them during their lunchtime.  Teachers also need help with special projects.  There are many opportunities to work directly with the children.
Contact: Sara Kasten 

Pack a Pantry

Pack-A-Pantry volunteers will gather food donated at Harvest's food drive every third Sunday of each month. Then on either Monday or Tuesday, they deliver the food to Samoset Elementary School and put it on the shelves in the pantry.  

Samoset Elementary maintains a food 

Pantry for parents.

Suggested items:

Rice - preferably white

Pasta - preferably not whole wheat

Pasta Sauce

Breakfast Cereal - Family sized boxes

Corn - canned

Beans - canned and dried

Green beans -  canned

Fruit - canned

Chicken and Tuna - canned

Pancake mix and syrup

Contact: Brian Harrison 

Annual Book Fair at Samoset

As part of its partnership with Samoset, Harvest funds the school's annual Scholastic book fair and provides volunteers to serve the kids while they "shop" at the fair.  The fair is usually held in the spring. Stay tuned for info about each year's book fair.

In the words of one of our Samoset ministry volunteer leaders: "Thank you again for your willingness to help with this very important project that gets books into the hands and homes of our Samoset community children.  Their faces tell the story of their joy when they get to choose an age-appropriate book of their very own!  Priceless!!"


Pack-A-Sack provides more than 135 food-insecure Samoset Elementary School children with sacks of food each Friday to be consumed over the weekend.  Please donate small individual containers that are easy to open and multi packed for easier handling. 

Pack-A-Sack provides individual servings of nutritious foods with pop-tops or other packaging that could easily be opened by a small child. The program is supported through the generosity of the congregation, including donations of food items or financial contributions.

On the third Sunday of every month, we collect the food donations in the Harvest lobby. You can be certain your generosity is greatly appreciated by our Manatee County neighbors who face constant food insecurity. 

Contact: Brian Harrison 

Suggested Food Items:
pasta or mac & cheese (7-1/2 oz cans)
applesauce or fruit cups (no sugar added)
pudding cups
crackers (filled with cheese or peanut butter)
cereals (boxed, individual, no oatmeal)
breakfast bars (or granola bars)
fruit juice (no sugar added, boxes, no  capsun)

All items are normally available at BJs, Sam's, Costco, or Walmart.


Your donations are making a big difference!
Drop your donations at the Food Sunday display in the Lobby.