(Pictured: Rosy Moore, second from left, and Aimee Mutter, left, with McDowell County Career and Technology Center students, from left, Christina, Seth, Amanda and Adam)
For nearly 10 years, Rosy Moore has been helping high school students in West Virginia get off to a good start as they enter adulthood through her role as a tutor at the McDowell County Career and Technology Center (CTC).
Rosy specializes in tutoring students in math and reading, enabling them to successfully apply for classes at the CTC where they can take courses in fields such as business, finance and information technology, health sciences, technology engineering and design, trade and industrial education, and more.
Rosy and AmeriCorps member Aimee Mutter help students who may have fallen behind their peers over the years and who just need that little hand up. They provide them with the encouragement they need to say “I can do it.”
Rosy assists wit the NOTCI (National Occupational Competency Testing Institute) exams which measure what a student knows coming into vocational school, as well as what they have learned throughout the year in their particular program.
“In working with their teachers, along with the tutoring program, I am proud to say that testing went smoothly, and there were some very high scores from many of the students,” she reported.
And, thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® who provide the funding to help operate the program, “We have helped the students to be where they need to be. I am very excited about all of our accomplishments.”
In many respects Juan was a typical middle school boy, but he also suffered from isolation. He had no friends and was shy because he could not speak clearly with his classmates.
“He often felt alone and afraid, so he mostly kept to himself,” we were told by Mary Mauricio, founder and director of our longtime partner in Gainesville, Georgia, L.A.M.P. Ministries, which operates an afterschool program designed exactly for children and youth like Juan.
But all it took for Juan to come out of his shell and not feel so self-conscious was a few days of attending LAMP’s program and reassurances from Mary.
“Being a part of the afterschool program has helped him overcome his fears,” she reported. “He is thriving in school and by the end of the school year, he made several friends and is now very outgoing.”
In fact, Juan now acts as a mentor and role model for his peers and looks forward to coming to the LAMP program after school every day.
And Mary tells us his biggest “concern” today with the school year coming to a close is if LAMP is going to have a summer program he can attend.
“Thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® for making a big difference in the life of this bright, confident young man, and the lives of so many other young men and women.”
Right now, in fact as you are reading this, there are hundreds of students at Beattyville Elementary School who are hoping that their dream of a having a desktop computer in their home (with broadband internet access, of course) for Christmas will come true.
Thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® we have been able to “bridge the digital divide” for more than 50 students at the school, along with their school-age siblings and parents.
And this year, thanks to people like you, we are on track to do the same for 30 more.
Working with our partner there in rural Appalachian Kentucky, the Lee County Family Resource Center (LCFRC), at least 30 students (hopefully more if more of our generous supporters are able to step up and make it happen) will be selected to receive an all-in-one computer with age-appropriate software enabling them to do their homework online at home – something they are unable to do today.
But the those chosen to get a computer is not based on the luck of the draw – but need and hard work.
LCFRC director Sherry Lanham’s office is located right in the elementary school and she is in daily contact with the students, teachers and administrators who know which of their students would put a computer in their home to best use.
“One of the most amazing programs last year was the “Computers for Appalachia” program that we were able to participate in for our students,” said Sherry.
Every child seeking a computer must write an essay detailing exactly why they need a computer, and what they will use it for.
“We have children working so hard on their essays for a chance of receiving a new computer,” says Sherry. “Parents have become involved and actually work with their children with the hope of being selected to receive a new computer.”
And the excitement is in the air at Beattyville Elementary.
“We have told the students that the winners will be chosen based on attendance, attitude, hard work, their essay, and need,” she told us.
Last year, one family who received a computer lives in an apartment complex and their home became in effect a computer lab for the other children living there.
“They worked with other families in the complex to share the cost of the internet bill and all the children there use the computer to do their homework, research projects, and other activities,” said Sherry.
We were able to meet our match in October to raise the funds necessary to reach our goal of 30 computers and on behalf of Sherry and all the students who have received computers – and those who will be having their best Christmas ever – we express our heartfelt gratitude for making it all happen.
And, just a reminder, there’s still time to help us exceed our goal. Each $300 we can raise between now and Christmas is one more computer we can put into the hands of one more deserving child, and one more deserving family.
In McDowell County, West Virginia we support an afterschool program operated by our partner there, Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA).
But actually, it’s technically incorrect to call it an “afterschool” program since it’s a service BCPIA provides year-round for school children and their parents.
On typical school days, BCPIA offers the opportunity for one-on-one mentoring and homework assistance for dozens of children from the time the final school bell rings for the day until 6:30 p.m.
For the children, that means no wasted afternoons of being alone at home watching TV waiting for their parents to get homework, and for the working parents it means no worries about what their kids are up to during this “free time.”
However, during summer vacation BCPIA operates its “after-school” program from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. helping to ensure that children don’t forget what the learned during the school year and to help them be better prepared for advancing to the next grade level at the start of the new school year.
“Our parents really appreciate what we do for their children,” reported BCPIA co-executive director Marsha Timpson. “If there is no school, they are at risk of going hungry.
“We feed these children full nutritious meals so they are not hungry when they go home.”
Thanks to our supporters, Americans Helping Americans® is able to assist BCPIA in its mission of providing a safe, fun, educational place where children are eager to go to spend their otherwise empty afternoons and summer days and enjoy a free meal as well.
“Our afterschool program is like family and we are glad to be here for our kids,” added Marsha, “even when school is not in session.”
Nearly one in four residents of the small town of Lonaconing, located in the Appalachian region of Maryland, live in poverty, about 10 percent higher than the natural average of 14 percent.
Many of these children’s parents struggle to just make sure there is plenty of food in the house for the family and juggle paying bills while getting by paycheck-to-paycheck on minimum-wage jobs.
Purchasing backpacks filled with all the items on their teacher’s school supply list is simply not something they can budget for, even when they know back-to-school season is quickly arriving when there’s no money to add to their household budget – especially when there are several school-age children in the family.
However, this August, thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®, we were able to provide 250 backpacks filled with school supplies to students at George’s Creek Elementary School.
For the children, the fear of shame and embarrassment of they may have had of entering their first class on the first day of school was eliminated. And for their parents, the stress of worrying about how to pay for such supplies was eliminated.
George’s Creek principal reported that most of the backpacks were given out during the school’s “Meet the Teacher night.
“Parents were appreciative and some even said they came just to get the bags,” she told us. “They didn’t have any money to purchase them.”
And she added,
“The students were proud to wear them.”
“Thank you so much.”
On the morning of August 3, hundreds of Lee County, Kentucky students, and their parents arrived at Beattyville Elementary bright and early to wait in line for the school’s doors to open at 8:30 a.m.
No, it wasn’t for the first day of school just yet, but for its “Readifest” back-to-school event supported by Americans Helping Americans®.
Not only did the students receive backpacks and school kits filled with school supplies, they also received Americans Helping Americans® “MightyMolars” dental kits containing toothbrushes, floss and a six-month supply of toothpaste, as well as a brand-new pair of shoes through our “Barefeet” program.
“Everything was great!” reported Sherry Lanham, director of our partner there the Lee County Family Resource Center who oversees the annual event every year. “The backpacks and dental kits were a big hit.”
At Beattyville Elementary, every child receives breakfast and lunch through the federal free and reduced-price meals program in a community where the need is great.
“We had about 95 percent of our students attend, and the parents and kids were so excited,” she said. “Many told me that if not for this event, their child would not have had school supplies – and certainly not a backpack or shoes.”
On behalf of all of these children, moms and dads, we say thank you to all the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® who helped ensure that they will be “ready” for the first day of school just a few days away.