A Strong Jackson Starts With Our Youth
We believe in providing “at risk” youth with a safe and nurturing after school environment to prepare them for success in school, which will in turn prepare them for success in life. United Way of Jackson County supports the After School Program at the Lily Missions Center. Mentors help students with homework and focus on areas where students need to improve. The program has positively impacted over 500 youth last year. Ninety-one (91) percent of 4th graders in the program increased their reading level each semester and eighty (80) percent showed increases in math every semester. Here is just one example of the IMPACT that is being made here in Jackson County when you support United Way:
Early one day in September, the Director got to the Lily Missions Center a few hours before the kids were to arrive so she could finish a few projects. She noticed one young student sitting on the ground outside the door. It was strange to see a 4th-grader who only lived 2 blocks away from the building be waiting several hours early for the After School Program to start. The director let her in early. “Can I have something to eat?” she asked. The Director gave her a snack. When one of the instructors arrived a few hours later, she informed the director that the little girl had been sitting outside the door early every afternoon for about a week. After speaking with the student, it was discovered that she was suspended from school and there was no one home that could help her with make-up work. She was also hungry. The Director made arrangements that the child could come early every day that she was suspended to get extra one on one help with her school work. It was also arranged that she could take an extra meal home each day for the early afternoons until she was allowed back in school. The staff at Lily Missions Center were able to contact her teacher to get all of the work she was going to miss on her 10-day suspension. Three weeks later, the teacher called to report that “…she had a total change of attitude.” The teacher and After School Program instructors made arrangements to communicate via an agenda each day so that everyone was on the same page when it came to what the child was working on in school. By the end of the semester, she had a B average. (Last year she was failing most subjects.)
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