Serving the youth of your community.
THE BIG PICTURE
The cyclical nature of poverty is demonstrated clearly in education - and especially in elementary schools. Students who are (1) in poverty and/or (2) living without a parent who has completed high school score significantly lower on reading, math, and science measures. (National Center for Education Statistics). Sadly, many of these students will not themselves finish high school, thus increasing the likelihood that they will be in poverty and potentially be sending their own children to school with the same risk factors.
THE LOCAL PICTURE
Though we live in what seems to be a very middle class region, there are some incredible needs in our community that are reflected in the schools:
- Ames Community Schools identifies 150-200 homeless youth each year.
- 1/3 of students in Ames receive free and reduced breakfast and lunch.
- 1/5 of children in Ames are considered undernourished.
- 1,500 local students are considered at-risk.
As we consider how to help tear down the systems that perpetuate poverty, we as the body can serve at local schools by (1) promoting literacy, (2) providing good role models, (3) supporting teachers, (4) encouraging school attendance, and (5) connecting those with physical needs with people who can help them.
WHERE DO I FIT IN?
Addressing these broad societal issues is NOT something that any one of us can do alone. Yet, we all live near an elementary school, and we can all serve at least one other family and see a collective difference as we serve together.
If this broader vision resonates with you, please consider the following questions:
Do you already have neighboring families whom you could serve through an enduring relationship?
If so, consider initiating relationship right away. There is no need to go through Cornerstone for this! Start serving in the name of Christ and commission others into the same service.
Is there a student or family your CHILD has mentioned that would benefit from added support and friendship?
Sometimes our children have unique insight into where material needs might exist in their schools. Consider partnering with them to see how you may be able to enter in.
Do I have the capacity to volunteer in the schools on a weekly basis?
There are multiple ways to get involved in your school consistently to meet students, support teachers, and be on-hand to notice potential avenues for further service.
As you ponder these questions, consider filling out the interest form below to get connected with your local school's liaison and/or get started on the process to becoming an in-school volunteer.