Christ Church has an exciting opportunity to help Project Transformation launch its inaugural summer here in Memphis. Project Transformation recruits and trains college-age adults to engage underserved children through literacy development, creative arts, recreational play, proper nutrition and spiritual discipleship. This will happen through free day camps located at Centenary UMC and Longstreet UMC, both churches in lower income communities, where 17 interns will serve around 140 children and youth.
One key part of this ministry is helping children become strong readers. Summer is a time when many students experience reading loss. Some children never were able to read on their grade level. In Shelby County Schools only 30 percent of third graders are reading on their grade level. Through academic programming and one-on-one reading times with volunteers, children will gain reading confidence. In other site cities, 99 percent of participating children maintained or improved their reading competency levels.
Another key part of this ministry is ensuring children have proper nutrition during summer months when school meals are unavailable. Children will receive healthy meals and snacks during the day.
Children will also have a safe place to play and explore. The most important part of the program is helping children realize how valuable they are by treating them with respect, compassion and love. There will be a spiritual component to their days as both interns and volunteers share the love of Jesus with them.
The interns’ lives are also changed through this ministry. Through serving others, these young adults discover their God-given talents. Many who participate go on to serve their communities in service-related vocations.
This program began in Texas and came to Nashville in 2012. Since that time, more than 700 children have been served through the ministry of 100 interns. Christ Church will be a foundational partner of the program here in Memphis. We have committed our support for three years to help this needed ministry grow and thrive.
Ways to help this summer include reading with a child from 9:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. one or more mornings, June 13-16 or 20-23. Also you and your Sunday school class or small group can provide a meal for the interns on certain dates throughout the summer. You can also help the children, their families and the interns celebrate during a Family Fun Night on July 21. To learn more about what these service opportunities entail, call Mike Cloutier, 355-3907, or email Bob Whitsitt.
For more information about the Project Transformation organization, check out their website.