Books, books, and more books . . .
Earlier this spring we got three requests for books: an elementary school in a low-income neighborhood, an after school program for disadvantaged children, and the summer meals program of the Fort Worth Office of the Texas Hunger Initiative. I remember thinking that it would be a good thing if we gave away all the books we had so that we could appeal for more! We gave away more than 1,000 but still have many left on the shelves of the book bank at Western Hills Baptist Church.
Shortly after that, I shared with my Sunday school class that we would need books for summer programs in the Rio Grande Valley and elsewhere. One of the members--a librarian in the Fort Worth ISD--offered to help. She sent an email the next day which resulted in thousands of donated books finding their way to us--with stalwart help in moving them from the Nelrod Company of Fort Worth. Thanks also to Jesús and Diego Valadez (sons of Literacy Connexus board member Gerardo Valadez) for lifting lots of boxes!
These books will be shared with children all over Texas--especially in the Rio Grande Valley. We will work with the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association, Catholic Charities, the Texas Hunger Initiative and others to encourage children to read this summer. At least seven summer feeding sights will serve up books and literacy-related activities to the children who show up for lunch. This means that approximately 1,000 children will have the opportunity to read at least six books, avoid the summer slide, and surge into their next grade level primed for success. We can't wait!
Thanks also to the Trull Foundation for providing support for this project that is designed not only to address the summer reading slide but also to improve attendance in summer lunch programs
But that's not all we're excited about. Southland Baptist Church of San Angelo didn't wait for summer to bless kids at San Jacinto Elementary School. Earlier this month, they incorporated a Books for the Border and Beyond project into the school's spring fair, building 66 bookcases for families and teachers, and collecting over 800 books for all ages. The bookcases were built by children of the church and the men's ministry. The church's Christian Life Division had the vision for the project and provided funds. "This was truly a church wide effort," Associate Pastor of Missions & Spiritual Formation Matt Walton said.
We are eager for any opportunity--like these mentioned--to get books into the hands of children, and we are thankful for every church, group, and individual that helps to make it happen. It's not too late to plan a summer literacy ministry project in your community. Contact us for ideas and support.
If you live in the Fort Worth area, please consider joining us tomorrow (May 21) to sort and prepare books for our upcoming projects. We'll meet at 9 am at Western Hills Baptist Church, located at 8500 Chapin Road. Call 817-696-9898 for more information.
Basic Immigration Law Summer Institute . . .
June 1-5, 2015 San Antonio, TX
Learn how to assist people in attaining proper immigration status, and how your organization can be recognized and your staff accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Glenda Reece Conference for ESL Teachers & Directors . . .
July 17-18, 2015 Arlington, TX
Teachers of faith and community-based ESL programs are invited to attend this dynamic time of learning with Glenda Reece, a teacher and trainer who regularly speaks and leads seminars across the United States and internationally.
Lester Meriwether, Executive Director
Offices at Henderson Hall - Agape Baptist Church
3954 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth, TX 76116
3020 S. Cherry Lane, #123168
Fort Worth, TX 76121
Pam Moore, Editor