February 21, 2019
Mondays can be rough. That alarm seems to go off way too early, and the coffee takes way too long to kick in. The to-do list for the week is at its longest, and everything seems to be urgent. Sometimes I’m already beginning the mental countdown to the weekend!
One Monday a couple of weeks ago was not one of those days for me.
As I walked into my office, I noticed the voicemail light blinking. It was a message from a long-time church member, asking me to call her. It seems the Camp Grier camper she and her husband had sponsored and mentored for many years, now an analyst at Wells Fargo, was interested in sponsoring a camper this year herself. Her experience at Camp Grier had been so meaningful to her that she felt called to provide that experience to someone else.
After that wonderful conversation, I went to a Read Charlotte Transformation Network meeting, where I had the privilege of sharing our HELPS tutoring successes as part of the “celebrations” portion of the meeting. We have been tutoring students since November 22, with breaks for holidays and testing during that time and I let them know that, of the eleven students we tutor at Westerly Hills, 82% showed growth (most, quite significant growth) in their mid-year fluency test scores.
In fact, 27% of the students we are tutoring showed so much growth that they would no longer be identified as needing the intervention.
Neither Read Charlotte nor the administration at the school were expecting to see an impact yet. But we made an impact, and it wasn’t small. Read Charlotte is going back to the professor who developed the program to see how we should proceed because they didn’t expect this kind of progress!
When we serve others, we know that we are doing what God calls us to do. We know it makes us feel good, and we hope that it is really making a difference in this overwhelmingly broken world. Rarely do we receive such bold confirmation, though, that what we do does matter. HELPS is helping struggling readers hit their goals and move forward, more quickly than we could have ever dreamed. The relationships formed and memories made as a result of our summer camps program are long-lasting, meaningful and important.
Yes, what we do matters. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes commitment. And it brings joy. It creates hope. It matters.
Don’t you want to sign up online today to create hope.
~ Heather Herring, Child & Family Partnership Coordinator