On Mother’s Day, I shared with the congregation how becoming a mother has influenced my thinking about the world which we live. My experiences as an elementary teacher and volunteer at Hot Meals have also been influential in what began as a whisper to now a "nudge" from God to create Project Read.
Research indicates that children who come from low-income families suffer from a reading proficiency gap of more than 40% compared to their high-income counterparts, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Children who have their own books at home have a better chance of learning to read and doing better in school. Sadly, 61% of low-income families have no books at all in their homes (J. McQuillan, The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions 1998). This is where an opportunity awaits to be seized at Hot Meals.
Project Read is that opportunity. Once a month, an adult will interactively read aloud an amazing picture book to the children attending Hot Meals. Afterward the children will then select a book to take home and then select a second book to give to a friend not in attendance. My hope is that in empowering the powerless we can change lives and improve our world.
Proverbs 22:6 reads, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." To donate books you may leave them in Room 100 at the church. To donate funds to purchase books, make your check out to Gay Street UMC and in the memo section write "Project Read."