As summer nears its end, I ask you to remember the children of Epworth as they begin a new school year. The Epworth academic program is committed to serving every child who comes to Epworth. For each child we provide them with the clothes and materials needed to be prepared and confident in the classroom from day one and then support them every day throughout the year.
Providing academic support to children who have experienced abuse, neglect and loss is a not a “one-size-fits-all” task. It takes a daily commitment to give each child the individualized support he or she needs. Support for children like Haley, Neil and Erika.*
- Before Epworth, Haley moved a lot. As a result she was significantly behind her peers in school. We worked with the local elementary school and developed an individualized learning plan to catch her up with her friends. We also noticed early signs of a learning disability and arranged for the extra resources needed to overcome her disability. Haley is starting second grade this year nearly on pace with her peers and ready for a great year.
- Neil has been at Epworth for a few years now. He struggled in school when he first arrived but with encouragement and tutoring, his grades improved to honor roll status. Then one day he learned that his parents lost custody of him because of the poor choices they made. The news was understandably difficult for him and his grades regressed. Through counseling and daily support he is doing much better now. He is looking forward to a fresh start this year and beginning a new chapter in his life.
- After completing high school at Epworth a few years ago, Erika is now entering her Junior year of college. In addition to keeping a near-perfect GPA in a difficult major, she has two part-time jobs to provide for her needs and to save to buy her first car. She is staying on our campus and has all of the resources she needs to succeed. She has always dreamed of doing forensic research and is well on her way to achieving her dreams.
These are just three examples of how the academic program at Epworth is transforming lives and creating a culture of success for our residents. For Epworth residents, success means that:
- most residents improve reading/math skills by one or more grade levels in less than one year’s time;
- consistently, about half of our residents make the school’s honor roll;
- for the fifth straight year 100% of seniors graduated from high school.
As we begin a new school year we invite you to consider continuing your support for the care of children at Epworth by making a financial contribution to this life-changing ministry. Your gift will enable Epworth to help children like Haley, Neil, and Erika break the cycle of abuse, neglect and shame, and achieve the academic success required to live a life of self-respect, responsibility and productivity.
John Holler, President
*Resident names and photos changed to protect their identities