Welcome to summer break! Just as the school year in TC has come to a close, so has our season of the Kids Hope ministry. If you're new to Sojourn and unfamiliar with it, Kids Hope is a partnership that Sojourn has with our closest public elementary school, primarily through mentoring their students. We had 11 mentors from Sojourn this year who spent one hour per week hanging out with a student that their teachers and parents felt could benefit from a consistent, caring one-on-one relationship. Some students simply needed a movement break, reading help, or a listening ear, while others faced significant stress in their young lives through various difficult circumstances. Regardless of the reason, every student benefits from a mentor as it increases their excitement of coming to school and their capacity to learn! We wrapped up the year with an ice cream party to say goodbye for the summer, and it was pure joy to see the close knit relationships that have formed throughout the school year. One boy even referred to his mentor as his “best friend”.

I want to express my gratitude to our mentors for showing up each week for these kids and making a difference in their lives! If you happen to see Mandi Leer, Kathye Johnson, Valerie McCarthy, Janet Rockafellow, Ben Whipple, Matt Herron, Bill Calcutt, Erin Bohner, Ted Price, or Scott Huber at church on Sunday, be sure to give them a hug and thank them yourself as well. :) These Sojourners, many of whom work full times jobs, have selflessly given an hour of their time each week to truly care for these students. I also want to thank our prayer partners and Kellie Beaton, who is our substitute mentor and party planner extraordinaire. It was a fantastic year!

As a church, we’re committed to a partnership with Silver Lake Elementary even outside of mentoring. Many of you sacrificially gave of your time and money to shop for and provide Christmas gifts for 10 Silver Lake families, teacher appreciation gifts, and more. Thank you for loving Silver Lake Elementary so well! They do so much for our community through teaching, and we are grateful for that school.

If mentoring an elementary student sounds like something right up your alley, we’d love to have you join us next fall! Shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to send you more information.

Janet Whipple - Kids Hope Coordinator