Having moved many times, I know that settling into a new neighborhood takes time and effort. Once we moved to 430 Polk St (Hope House Montgomery) in October of 2021, we sent an informational letter to connect with our community. Not knowing how people would respond, the waiting seemed lengthy. So it was beautiful to hear from a few neighbors who emailed us to let us know they were also involved in building the community and helping our neighborhood kids.
Kiara, Dessy, and I were thrilled to meet these engaged neighbors: The Rhodebecks (Seth and Megan) and the Campbells (Colin and Victoria) work with, and support HOPES (Helping Our Public Education System, hopesmgm.com), a weekly tutoring program at Capitol Heights Middle School. They have encouraged and given us some great ideas and tips as they seek to be great neighbors. We keep in touch regularly, had them over to dinner one night, and enjoyed sharing our dreams and hopes for our community. You can see our dinner picture above. It was a wonderful evening.
HOPES serves middle school students through after-school tutoring every Thursday and also does a meal and devotional for their tutoring students and their families. Kiara, Dessy, and I were excited to volunteer to make two meals for their group last semester. HOPES serves our middle school, and we (Hope House Montgomery) currently serve our pre-K and elementary students. God is moving in our community, and we continue seeking ways to move into those efforts.
The interns, Kiara, Dessy, and I, cook together generally each Tuesday night. We invited one of our neighbors, King, who often edges and mows lawns in our neighborhood, including ours, to join us for our weekly cooking endeavor. We warned him that we are always trying TikTok recipes which can be risky; so far, we have had success. We appreciate King’s service to us and sharing a meal with him each week. Very thankful for our community members who are looking to make a difference. King is one of those neighbors.
As you can see in the above photo, Kiara is our best selfie-taker.
As the semester ends, we have about five weeks of programming left. Our Reading Program will end the last week of May, and we are already thinking about what our kids will do for the summer. We plan to have a few summer activities since our community families need support when school is out. Our friends from HOPES have several students and families who would like to take advantage of the many day camps and week-long camps, and this got us thinking about summer camps, too.
The Montgomery area has many organizations with specialized day camps, and we are also looking to raise additional funding to help our students and their families. Weekly day camps run about $150 to $199 per student. Today, we received an email that the Montgomery Zoo is hosting a week-long day camp for elementary school-age children. We are excited about the possibilities and education this might give our kids.
We would love to send ten students to day camp this summer. Consider helping us send one of our Read Around the Block students to summer day camp.
We are grateful for the love, support, and prayers.
A Big Shout Out of gratitude to Gamma Social Club for being Reading Buddies and providing snacks.