CHOCOWINITY, N.C. (WNCT) – A Beaufort County school is making sure students and parents are aware of available resources in the area.

Chocowinity Middle School hosted a community connections event Wednesday for Beaufort County residents.

“If a community is behind the school, then the kids are going to be much more effective in the classroom, and we have seen it throughout this school year,” said Gregory Lentine, CMS interim principal.

Parents learned about community resources from local vendors offering health screenings, tips on transitioning to high school, information on summer camps and more.

“My children go here and I have been part of Chocowinity for a long time,” said Tiara Speller. “I went to school here, too, but I try to come out as much as I can. I have two students here too so we came out to enjoy the festivities.”

CMS also opened up their student-led food pantry Wednesday night. It had food, clothes, sports equipment and school supplies.

“We see a lot more social and emotional problems students are facing that students weren’t facing two or three years ago,” Lentine said. “Parents and community members don’t always know what resources they have available, and sometimes they’re not going out to places they don’t know, but they are comfortable going to school. So we made it available right here to meet those needs.”

Wednesday night was also a chance to continue building relationships with community members.

“We are a relatively small school and small community,” said Ann Sauls, a CMS teacher. “That close knit family interaction only makes our school better and our community better.”

Any student can take food from the school’s pantry when needed. CMS is also taking donations to keep it stocked for students. It’s open during school hours.