Sharing God's Love through Literacy Ministries
By: Rev'd Rebekah Gienapp
Frederick Douglass once wrote that “once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Being able to read well is crucial to children’s future success. It also opens their hearts, minds, and souls to new possibilities!
Here at St. John’s, we have three primary ways that we support children’s literacy.
1) Bruce School Reading Day. A recent national study found that 61% of low-income children have no books at home. If children don’t have the opportunity to practice reading at home (and the chance to fall in love with good stories), they’re less likely to become skilled readers.
Each March, St. John’s members raise funds to provide every Bruce Elementary student with a brand new, vocabulary rich, beautifully illustrated book to keep.
How you can help:
• Make a donation. You can give at the church (mark Bruce School on the memo line of your check), or online (designate your gift on the Bruce School line). This year, there are approximately 100 more students at Bruce than there were in 2017, so please give generously! A donation of $4 will provide a book for 1 child. $25 provides 6 books, and $75 provides books to an entire class.
• Volunteer with us the morning of March 22. We need volunteers to distribute books to the children, as well as read to the younger children. If you’d like to volunteer, contact me(rgienapp [at] stjohnsmidtown [dot] org).
2) Arise2Read. St. John’s members can serve as longer term literacy volunteers at Bruce School by tutoring through the Arise2Read program. Volunteers serve 1 hour per week, working with 2nd graders to improve their recognition of sight words. If you’d like to volunteer contact John Barker(jrbphd [at] gmail [dot] com).
3) Project Transformation. The summer months are a critical time when many low-income children lose the literacy progress they’ve made during the school year. Project Transformation brings together children, college interns, and United Methodist congregations for a special 8 week summer camp. For one week of the camp, St. John’s provides volunteers who listen to children read one on one. If you’d like to volunteer contact me(rgienapp [at] stjohnsmidtown [dot] org).