Monday, June 13, 2011

Community HOPE: Live the Dream

Too many students in our schools struggle to make the grade because they can't read. For years, our Y has been bridging the education gap through tutorial programs. One of our most successful literacy programs is Community HOPE, a one-on-one mentoring curriculum operated in the communities where children need extra educational support.

Read this end-of-school report from Jessica Russell, Community HOPE Director for the A.E. Finley YMCA. The Finley Y serves 55 children through two Community HOPE sites, Raleigh Gardens and The Oaks.

Our theme for the spring semester of Community HOPE was “Live the Dream.”

As our students met with their mentors each week, they had an activity in their folder that focused on developing their dreams - what they want to do and be in the future. Students and mentors talked about how being an independent reader is important to pursuing dreams. They also discussed why it is important to help others as we pursue our dreams.

While the activities directed our students to focus on their dreams, they also created the opportunity for mentors to get to know students on a deeper level.

Each week as we walked around the room, we would hear children say they wanted to be to become a dancer, a fashion designer or a surfer.

These conversations paved a path for a different future. Students learned that they have great potential. They also learned that there are many volunteers who want them to develop their skills, talens and goals.

At the Y, we  strengthen the foundations of our community. Through our “Live the Dream” theme this semester, there was tremendous growth in the depth of relationships shared between mentors and students.

Children and volunteers learned the small steps we take each day help us live out our dreams. 

The YMCA of the Triangle serves nearly 150 children through four Community HOPE sites in the Triangle. Click here to volunteer as a Community HOPE mentor through the Alexander Family YMCA. Click here if you're interesting in serving through the A.E. Finley YMCA.

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