Blog

A Wonderful Year Full of Growth and Change

By Jim Wambach
December 31, 2019

2019 Growth and Change

2019 was a wonderful year of growth and change at Children Rising. Thank you for being part of our family.

We’ve made significant stides during the first year of our four-year inititave

We are so grateful for your support over the past 12 months, which have been filled with growth and change. During the first year of our four-year initiative, we have made substantial strides toward serving and empowering more vulnerable children in our neighborhoods.

Because of your input, we have improved our ability to connect with our community by…

Serving more children is important, but we also want to continually improve the benefits the kids receive from our programs so we’ve…

YOU are the reason more children are able to be reached by a caring community at a critical time in their life – to nurture hope, the courage to dream, and the opportunity to thrive. All of us are extremely grateful for the gifts of time and funding you provide each year.

Thank you!

Children Rising

Merry Christmas from Children Rising

By Jim Wambach
December 25, 2019

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas from Children Rising

As we gather ‘round with family and friends this holiday season, we reflect on the gifts we have received. And for many of us, we also take a moment to reflect on those not blessed with the opportunity we so often take for granted.

Like the many vulnerable children in our community that seek a more fair and equitable chance in life as they progress through school.

I want to take a moment to thank you for placing a caring adult in the lives of these precious children. Your gifts make it possible for them to restore the hope and confidence so important to these wonderful boys and girls at this time in their lives.
From all of us at Children Rising, we wish you a Merry Christmas and festive holiday season filled with much love and joy.

Thank you for being part of our family.

Warm regards,

Children Rising

“High-Energy” Student Thrives with Individual Attention

By Jessie Palmatier
December 21, 2019

Luis, a high energy second grader in Succeeding by Reading

Jean helped Luis focus his high energy and learn to read.

Despite initial challenges, Luis learned to read

Luis* and his tutor Jean are an unlikely pair. Last school year, Luis was a high-energy second grader. Although very smart, he could hardly sit still and had trouble focusing long enough to learn. Jean moves through life at a slower, more relaxed pace and started the school year unsure of how to relate to Luis. In fact, Jean considered asking to swap students with another tutor so both she and Luis could be paired with someone with whom each could have more success. But Jean decided to commit to Luis and remain consistent for him, with extra support from Succeeding by Reading Program Manager Bekah Wilson.

At the beginning of the school year, Luis was reading below a kindergarten grade level. His teacher, Ms. Dana, describes him as sweet and motivated to improve. He was always happy to attend tutoring and enjoyed the one-on-one attention and support he received from Jean each week. “There was no real ‘lightbulb moment,’” recalls Jean, “just slow and steady progress.” That steady progress led to amazing results: Luis had nearly caught up to grade level by the end of the school year!

“… the opportunity to receive extra help and see himself making progress each week was encouraging and validating for Luis, and made him feel better both in and out of the clinic.”

Luis and Jean in group photo at La Escualita Elementary School.

Luis and Jean (center in red and white shirts) were an unlikely pair, but they both received the extra support they needed to make significant progress together.

Luis’ blossoming relationship with Jean produced positive results outside of the reading clinic as well. Ms. Dana remembers Luis’ overall mood improving as his reading improved. She believes two important factors were at play in this shift. First, the personal attention made Luis feel valued and seen. “Who wouldn’t do better with some extra attention?” Ms. Dana asked. Luis’ story is a common one: the youngest sibling in a single-parent household, with his mother working long hours to provide for her family. We know that parents care deeply for their children, but when paying rent and putting food on the table is a struggle, individual academic attention can be very difficult to provide. Even in the best of circumstances, “every kid needs an adult relationship outside of family or a teacher,” Ms. Dana asserts. Jean’s role was bigger than simply that of a tutor: she was another caring adult who was choosing to spend an hour a week with Luis, and that in itself is a priceless gift.

Additionally, Ms. Dana points out, it’s obvious to kids-– especially at this age-– when they are struggling or need extra help. She likes to tell her students, “We are all gifted and talented in different ways, and we all need extra help in different things.” For a second grader who is struggling to read, it’s obvious to that child that they are not performing at the same level as their classmates. Having the opportunity to receive extra help and see himself making progress each week was encouraging and validating for Luis, and made him feel better both in and out of the clinic.

Ms. Dana is right– we do all need extra help in different ways. Luis needed some extra support to learn to read. His tutor, Jean, needed some extra support to learn how to relate to Luis and help him be successful. Bekah, Succeeding by Reading Program Manager, helped Jean with strategies to keep Luis focused. This team of caring adults, in tandem with his teacher and family, worked together to help Luis improve his reading skills by multiple grade levels in one school year, and set him up to be able to continue to succeed.

* Name changed to maintain confidentiality

YES, I CAN help a struggling child SOAR to their God-given potential.

 I want to attend an upcoming mentor or tutor orientation session to see if it is right for me!

 I want help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year.

Vocation – A Personal Calling

By Eric Steckel
December 11, 2019

Perspectives article by Eric Steckel, Communications Manager

“The old and honorable idea of ‘vocation’ is simply that we each are called, by God, or by our gifts, or by our preference, to a kind of good work for which we are particularly fitted.” — Wendell Berry

Learning to read empowers children to succeed in elementary school

Learning to read empowers children to succeed in elementary school, middle school, and beyond.

We frequently say that tutoring a vulnerable child who struggles in reading or math, every week, for an entire academic year, is a true vocation. We train, support, and coach our tutors so they can step in and help a child from day one. It becomes a type of job to which our tutors joyfully and diligently commit.

However, a vocation is much different than a job!

“… Here I am. Send me.”

A few weeks ago I sat in the church pew, listening to Pastor Marco’s sermon, and my ears perked up. He explained that a vocation is a calling. The word itself stems from the word “voice” – someone, or something, calling to you.

I Want To Soar

Will you join us in helping a vulnerable child Soar? One-on-one tutoring provides opportunity for a struggling child who desperately needs a fair and equal chance to rise above the challenges they face.

A true vocation is a job that meets a greater purpose than the job description alone. When we find our true vocation, we embrace a job or occupation that serves a greater good. As Wendell Berry so eloquently reminds us, that calling may be from God, or a result of our gifts pouring out, or simply a preference to do good work for which we are well suited.

A vocation is often associated with ideas like obligation, mission, trust, and service. Indeed, it is far more than just a job. It is a personal calling. And in most cases, the stakes are much higher than financial rewards alone.

We are in the midst of an education crisis affecting our city’s most vulnerable children.

It can be uncomfortable to look around and say: “Our system is broken. I will serve the children. I will show them that they do indeed matter. That there is hope for a better future. That they can rise above, and soar on the wings of eagles.”

Each year, we are blessed with hundreds of caring adults who heed that call. They receive no financial reward for their work. Their reward comes from the knowledge that they responded to a personal call to empower a child.

Do you have a fresh vision for what is possible in our schools? In the lives of vulnerable young children looking to soar? If so, Children Rising will provide you all the resources you need to embark on the vocation for which you have been uniquely called. You can come alongside a vulnerable child who is eager to rise above.

We can be thankful for the gifts for which we have been blessed. But who will go and serve the vulnerable in our community? Will it be you?

YES, I CAN help a struggling child SOAR to their God-given potential.

 I want to attend an upcoming mentor or tutor orientation session to see if it is right for me!

 I want help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year.