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July 31, 2013
We joined Literacy Connexus . . .


By Ashleigh Bugg, Student.Go Intern  


On a hot July day in Weatherford, TX, children cluster around an ordinary bookcase. A few pieces of plywood may not seem like much in the fight against rural poverty, but for kids who have never owned books of their own, it's a portal to worlds they've only imagined.


Center of Hope joined Literacy Connexus. It is a Christ-centered non-profit that works through faith, education, and mentoring to empower citizens of Parker County with the skills needed to break cycles of poverty. One program that supports their mission is Camp Hope.  


"We were giving out sack lunches about six or seven years ago when I read a book called When Helping Hurts and realized we were going about serving the wrong way," Community Projects Director Michelle Buchanan said. Now, Camp Hope works to teach children basic skills such as cooking kid-friendly meals, reading, health education, and Bible stories.  


The six Camp Hope sites each adapted Books for the Border and Beyond in their own way.  


"At our Fox Hollow site, we had men from Couts United Methodist Church come out and teach the kids how to sand and put the bookshelves together. Everybody got to participate. They took great pride and ownership in it," Site Manager Brenda Brechbuhl said.  


"It made a huge difference to have a group of men willing to mentor these kids," Michelle added.  


Other sites helped the parents get involved by having mothers and fathers paint bookcases alongside their children, to encourage reading at home. "If you're reading with your kids, it's not just educational, it's bonding," Michelle said.


Children gravitated to the bookcases. "We had kids saying that they didn't even realize they liked to read. This helped them learn a level of respect for books," Brenda said.    

"When we asked the kids what they liked best about camp, they said getting to take their own book home and put their name on it. That really got me last year--the idea to have your own book with your own name made all the difference," Michelle said.    


The Camp Hope sites provided parents with resources, such as the book What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick, available in English and Spanish.

"We always assume that when we grow up we will be parents, but it is not natural for everybody. Not everyone knows what to do when their kid is sick. We're all about teaching parents how to parent." Brenda said.


Center of Hope was able to take a basic literacy model and craft it to the desires of the various communities they assist.


"Really look at the needs of the people you're trying to serve. Sometimes we get in our heads what we think people need, but before beginning anything, spend time getting to know what they need . . . what they want," Brenda said.


Center of Hope has distributed 100-125 bookcases this summer and over 2,000 books. They will continue to work with Literacy Connexus, including starting a Book Bank at FBC Aledo.  


"I'm shocked at how little it cost us." Michelle said.  "I love how God just works and puts everything together."

Right around the corner . . .

Click for conference information and registration

This conference is always top-notch. Participate in informative workshops and meet literacy providers from all over the state.

While you're there . . .

Look for our display
and the launch of our new:

Lester Meriwether, Executive Director 
4802 Highway 377 S., Suite 14
Fort Worth, TX 76116
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Pam Moore, Editor   

Trivia Challenge 
1. The origin of which of the following words means incapable of speech:

a) awestruck

b) infant

c) irate

d) nonplussed

2. To be at sixes and sevens is an uncommon expression a creative ESL teacher might share with his or her students. It means to be:

a) confused

b) happy

c) hungry

d) wide awake

3. In Mexico, a Notario Publico:

a) performs duties similar to a U.S. notary public

b) performs ID checks on the border

c) refers to someone with celebrity status

d) serves as a lawyer and protector of the law 


Problem accessing  the answers? Reply to this email and we'll shoot them your way.  

These instructional links may help: 


Training Webinars
Glenda Reece will offer two free training sessions:

July 31, 2013


12:15 pm EDT

The Basics of teaching ESL and beginning an ESL program


    August 1, 2013 

    12:15 pm EDT

How to begin and conduct an ESL class during the Sunday School hour