During summer vacation, children who live in economically distressed areas such as the south side of St. Louis, Missouri, can lose from one-and-a-half to three months of their academic skills. This is known as "summer slide." However, children who participated in the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools program in 2012 through Kingdom House Children Services, Advance #561320, did not experience this academic slide.
Thanks to generous UMC #GivingTuesday donations made to Kingdom House last year, books were purchased and provided to the scholars of the CDF Freedom School program, which helped to instill a love of reading in each scholar.
Misti Johnson, afterschool/summer camp coordinator, explains, "The books purchased are all hand-picked by a team of educational experts, and culturally relate to the students we serve."
Research has shown that reading levels and grades improve dramatically for those who successfully complete the program. The program generates more positive attitudes toward learning, increases self-esteem, and connects the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities. It also provides summer and afterschool reading enrichment for children who might otherwise not have access to books.
In the future, Kingdom House would like to increase the number of children served to 150 by recruiting new students from the neighborhood and the surrounding schools. The project's goal is to send children back to school in the Fall with improved reading skills.
You can support this work with your gifts to Kingdom House Children's Services, Advance #561320.
The Advance is the accountable, designated-giving arm of The United Methodist Church. The Advance invites contributors to designate support for projects related to the General Board of Global Ministries. Individuals, local churches, organizations, districts and annual conferences may donate to The Advance. One hundred percent of every gift to The Advance goes to the project selected by the giver.