Throughout the country, children are heading back to the classroom. Some children are happy — excited and ready for a new year of learning. But for many kids school brings with it nothing but frustration as their grades continue to drop and success seems further and further away.
But what is most frustrating are the feelings of being forgotten. Teachers are overworked and just don’t always have enough time to be able to help them as much as they need. And their parents are working so hard just to pay the bills that these kids can’t ask them for help. They need help, but there is no one they can turn to.
That’s the very reason The Leaven began – and why we continue to grow every year in the 9 communities The Leaven now calls home.
We pride ourselves on being partners with the schools and teachers. But it’s the children who are our most important clients, because our role is being there to support these struggling students.
We help these kids find success in the classroom by starting with the basics and building a strong foundation in reading, writing and math. We supplement the lessons they’ve learned at school so that we can help them understand everything their teachers have been teaching.
But most importantly, we are a friend. We are people these kids can rely on day after day. They don’t just trust us with their struggles in the classroom, but in all aspects of their lives. If they are being bullied, they come to us. If there is a problem at home, they come to us. They know that we will listen no matter their fears, and we will help them however we can.
When a student came to us because he was lonely since his mom was working so much, we comforted him with hugs and a fun story. When a student told us he was being bullied, we walked with him to and from the center. When a student told us her mom’s boyfriend was hurting her mom, we helped both of them find safety.
And our Leaven kids know it’s not just our staff and volunteers looking out for them, but the community as a whole. On their first day of school they have a brand new backpack because the caring Leaven supporters provided for them. At Christmas, they will be surprised by presents and even warm winter clothes because our friends want to put a smile on their faces.
It is this partnership and friendship that is at the heart of why Leaven kids love going to school — they know that there is a whole community of people behind them. This is why it’s our goal to show the love and compassion of Christ each day through our actions. We know that success in school is more than numbers and letters; it’s about building confidence and supporting each child’s whole person.
We couldn’t do this without an entire community of supporters behind us. Friends like you. Because together we are helping kids and communities rise.