Read Around the Block at Hope House Montgomery has started! I am ecstatic and hopeful.
Those following our journey may know we have worked for about a year to start an after-school reading program. We started with a mass mailing about the program and met with the elementary administration, and then nothing happened.
We continued to reach out to the community and school with no response. Mind you, we had only lived in the neighborhood for less than four months, yet in my head, I believed this program would be both celebrated and desired. Admittedly, I am impatient, and my disappointment hung with me until my brother reminded me that laying the groundwork and earning trust takes time, and God works despite us.
With a new academic year, we began brainstorming again, deciding we could go to the elementary school when parents were dropping off or picking up and handing out information about the reading program. Being at the school could give us legitimacy since the parents trusted the administration. We were hopeful the administration would not object to us being there. I was reluctant to try one more time, knowing we had nothing to lose, so I contacted the elementary. It worked! We were encouraged to come early and pass out our flyers to each car as they pulled up to let their students out. Thank you to Highland Avenue Elementary!
I had put my email on the flyer, and our start date was Oct 12th, two weeks out, so we were hopeful. The next few days passed, and I checked my email, and still no takers. Concerned that I didn’t give enough information on the flyer, I bought a blank yard sign with an info tube and, in black marker, announced the reading program, added the website, and the info tube had all the details. I put a yard sign by the school and one in our front yard.
The Monday before Oct 12th (day one of the program), the registration page on the website for the reading program had two entries. I texted Kiara and Dessy. We were all excited. By Wednesday morning, we had seven registrations.
Wednesday came, and unfortunately, the weather turned stormy, and it poured that afternoon, and no one showed up. That is understandable, but it was still a bit of a blow to my plans.
The following week I called and texted each parent who registered and heard from all but one that they planned to attend. Dessy, Kiara, and I were excited. We had two additional volunteers from Faulkner University coming. Around twenty minutes after three, a car pulled up, and we were there, eager to greet our pupils.
It’s now week four, and we have had six to seven students each week. We are getting to know each other and looking forward to each Wednesday.
So grateful to everyone who has prayed and donated books, funding, and snacks. Keep up the fantastic work, and we will keep up our work.