Middle Schools Of The Year: Let Them Lift Us Up: WINNER Hand Middle School/Columbia, S.C.

It took a devoted community of friends, neighbors, teachers and preachers to spark a revival at this school

A few minutes into third period on a recent morning, four pastors of different denominations have packed into child-size chairs in the computer lab at Hand Middle School in Columbia, S.C. They bow their heads and close their eyes, and with 25 computer monitors purring in the background, the Rev. Cole Weathers leads a brief invocation: "Almighty God, help us make a positive difference in the lives of children." Then the group gets down to business, divvying up the remaining $1,200 of the $1,600 that their churches have collected this year for the school. A pizza party is planned; new book...

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