Our partnership with Whittier Elementary School is an important part of this year’s Advent season! As one of the three distinct serve opportunities to bless people in our community and participate in the larger church missional effort, our “Blessed by Books” campaign allows each child access to a book of their very own.
Kathryn Kendell is a year-round volunteer for the St. Andrew’s Literacy Team at Whittier Elementary School. Her story demonstrates how serving one another can make a lasting impact and have great rewards.
“The fall of 2018 was my fifth year as a St. Andrew’s volunteer at Whittier Elementary School,” says Kathryn, “and my fourth year working with first graders in the classroom with reading specialists, Laura and Lisa. Among the students I met was a shy, pretty little girl who just did not seem interested in reading. I tried coaxing her for a month or so, but there were other students who also needed attention. One Monday, after the students had left, I asked her teacher, Lisa, what I might be able to do to get this student to read with me. Lisa told me that this little girl had been tested and diagnosed with a learning disability in kindergarten. Consequently, her teachers, with other students to attend to as well, worked with her but did not have enough time to spend one-on-one with her. Each week she fell further and further behind. God wrote this little girl’s name on my heart. I made sure to spend extra time with her each week, encouraging her and letting her know I believed she could read if she would try. She made progress at a very slow pace, but after a few months, she broke through! She read an entire booklet to me without assistance and without any mistakes. I was so overjoyed I nearly burst!”
“I shared this exciting news with Lisa, who was also very excited,” Kathryn continues. “My shy little friend continued to make progress for the remainder of the school year. By May, the little girl who could not read was on equal footing with her peers.”The St. Andrew’s Literacy Team is a very easy way to engage in more local missions work. All you need to do is show up with a willing heart! For more info on this and other ministry partnerships, please visit sapres.org/extendingthefamily or email firstname.lastname@example.org.