People are donating time off to help teacher who is spouse of injured Raleigh officer

Raleigh police officer C.D. Ainsworth
Raleigh police officer C.D. Ainsworth

The Wake County school system is promising to give a teacher the time off she needs to help care for her husband, a Raleigh police officer who was seriously wounded by gunfire last week.

Teachers and other state employees have been donating their leave time to Jennifer Ainsworth, a teacher at Dillard Drive Middle School in Raleigh, so she can stay by the side of Raleigh Police Officer Charles D. Ainsworth. Wake school officials say that they can take the donated leave time to provide Ainsworth with up to one year of paid leave allowed under state law.

“The superintendent is planning to grant the maximum leave allowable,” Lisa Luten, a school district spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

Officer Ainsworth was shot several times on Jan. 9 while responding to a call about a stolen vehicle off of Western Boulevard in Raleigh. The community has rallied around the family with two different funds being created to collect donations.

Jennifer Ainsworth’s colleagues at Dillard Drive Middle issued a call on social media for people to donate leave time to the young teacher. The call has been repeated across social media.

People can check with their respective state agencies or school districts on how to donate leave time. Wake County school employees can go to https://wakeconnect.wcpss.net/sites/leave/SitePage/2208/leave to access the leave form.

Employees are limited to receiving up to 20 days a year of donated sick leave from non family members. But that limit doesn’t apply to annual leave and bonus leave that’s donated. The usual limit is 130 days of leave a year, but Luten said the superintendent can give up to a year off.

Several new fundraising events have been announced to help the family:

Hibernian Irish Restaurant & Pub will donate 10 percent of all proceeds on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m at its two Raleigh locations: 311 Glenwood Ave. and 8021 Falls of Neuse Rd.

Raleigh Beer Garden will donate 10 percent of all proceeds on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. at 614 Glenwood Ave.

Papa Murphy’s Pizza will donate 25 percent of its sales on Thursday. There are nine locations in Raleigh and two in Cumberland County.

Raleigh CrossFit will host a fundraiser Saturday at 9 a.m. at 15 N. West St. in dowtown Raleigh.

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T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.