“No matter how hard you try, you cannot make a miracle happen for yourself.
But you can put yourself in position to help a miracle happen for someone else.”
~David Staal, Show UP
One simple thing will make a big difference in the life of an at-risk child: One-on-one, positive attention from a responsible, caring adult.
Kids Hope USA (KHUSA) develops these one-on-one relationships through the creation of church-school partnerships that pair church members with at-risk kids in supportive, mentoring relationships.
KHUSA mentors spend just one hour per week, reading, talking, playing and listening to a child at school. By helping the child feel loved and valued, they help that child to learn, grow and succeed.
You can change a life…and that’s no small change.
The KHUSA Partnership extends to local Elementary School (Good to Go) and Middle School (Next) programs. KHSA is an early childhood intervention program for at-risk children. Our church began this program in the fall last year and 20 children in our community experienced a powerful truth in their lives. That they matter. Close your eyes and imagine the power of that truth for a child whose life experiences or circumstances have kept them from achieving academic or social success. As a mentor, you have this ability to change the life of a child through this powerful truth. our church’s program is inviting you to consider joining KHSA. The cost is one hour a week with one child for one academic year. ONE. Show one child that they matter.
Here’s a story from one 2015-16 FPCP mentor about how Kids Hope made a difference in one child’s life:
My first assignment from the teacher was math — 5th grade math with my beautiful student who was still putting forth her best foot. I don’t know what happened, I was suddenly all thumbs figuratively and literally. Numbers were transposed wrong, erasers tore through the paper leaving black smudges around crumpled holes, repeated every problem. My student and I both becoming anxious then resigned to failure then finally completion. Along the way I think I laughed first, then we closed with giggles that hurt our sides. Subsequently the teacher said she understood it was a fluke and although I was really good at 5th grade math, she assigned me social studies afterwards. Then one day the teacher greeted me with gladness and said, “You can do anything you want as long as you keep coming”. My mentee had been sleeping in class and ‘zoned out’ when awake. Now she was better focused and she looked to the clock to see when I was coming – she woke up!
Another mentor told this story:
After the ‘honeymoon’ phase ended, that’s when things really got interesting. I learned my girl never turned in an assignment that was homework. I learned she rarely turned in a completed assignment done in class and that she might scribble or draw on an assignment and stared blankly when called on. Advancing to the next grade was not expected to happen. Getting work done with me was critical. I would bribe her with the promise of a game after the completion of so many worksheets. We would go longer than our time allowed (the next teacher had given approval for occasional late attendance). But my student worked really hard at not working hard. She might come and kneel on the floor with her chin on the table and look at me with crossed eyes, or kneel then flop to the ground like a possum playing dead. At first moving to a bean bag chair to do work would distract her from her rebellion and we could continue. But at one particularly tough start to our day, I stopped and told her, “I believe you are so much smarter than you let your teacher think. I believe you hear her and take in so much information but stubbornly won’t show her on your assignments. You deserve to get credit for what you know.” Somehow in that statement she saw a way that she could stop rebelling and begin performing. It wasn’t magic. It was a course change. I dropped by during the week with a small gift relevant to a specific interest of hers – a book. I left it for her with our new motto: “You deserve to get credit for what you know.” I had her say it out loud that first day several times until she said it without using her ‘baby voice’ (I never instructed her that way – just let it sink in until she claimed its truth).
These are just two of the many experiences shared by our mentors from year one of the partnership. You may be hearing the call to make a difference to one child, as well!
To learn more about being a part of the Kids Hope USA Elementary partnership between Bird Elementary School and FPCP, contact FPCP’s Kids Hope USA Elementary Program Director, Susan Johnson, at 734-751-9334 or by email. For more about being a part of the Kids Hope USA Middle School partnership between West Middle School and FPCP, contact FPCP’s Kids Hope USA Middle School Program Director, Marie McCubbrey, at 248-421-4442 or by email.
For more information about Kids Hope USA, visit their website.
2016 FPCP Kids Hope USA Volunteers (pictured from left to right):
Front Row: Dana Stonerook, Jake Danke, Amy Marmaduke,
Sally Evans, Bob Evans, Marie McCubbrey, Cindy Blanchard-Kronig
Middle Row: Tom Kage, Craig Lee, Molly Bixler, Jane Weaver, Susan Johnson,
Tom Brady, Kiki Farrow, Linda Baric, Debra Macgregor, Rob Leist
Back Row: Chris Thomas, Denny Devine, Jack Farrow, Kari Rhea,
Don Kronig, Joyce Balnaves, Bob White