Promise the Children is a community of activists for children within the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. We are a unifying voice for our faith community to speak and act on behalf of children. We advocate for a public agenda that ensures the well-being of all of Georgia’s children. And we put our faith into action through direct service, working with organizations that serve children in need.

We are committed to a world where children are safe, healthy, educated, employable, and connected to their family and community.

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Filed under About Promise the Children

Bring Many Cans!!!

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Filed under Child Health--Insurance, Obesity, and Other Issues, Help for Homeless and Struggling Families

Hope-Hill Seeking Volunteers for Easy, Short-term Projects on June 16th and/or June 17th

Hope-Hill Elementary has put out a call for volunteers to help inventory teaching supplies and organize media center (library) materials on Monday, June 16th and Tuesday, June 17th. Work sessions will run from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM each day. Volunteers can choose to work one or both days and the length of time they want to work, i.e.1 hour, 2 hours, or more. No heavy lifting required. School staff will be available to provide guidance. This is a great opportunity for member/friends who want to support UUCA’s work with Hope-Hill but who are not able to volunteer on a regular basis. Contact Richard Bergman at 404-345-5983 or via e-mail at bergmanrf@yahoo.com to sign up or for more information.

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Filed under Our Stories

Operation P.E.A.C.E. Summer Program Off to a Great Start but Needs More Volunteers

UUCA volunteers have tutored and helped teach at-risk elementary school children in the Old Fourth Ward (O4W) for 20+ years – where our Hope-Hill Elementary School children live. For the past two years, we have volunteered at Operation P.E.A.C.E., one of UUCA’s O4W partners, a non-profit organization that provides free summer enrichment programs – including academic training as well as fun activities, nourishing food, and a safe environment – for some of the poorest children in the Southeast.

This year UUCA members/friends again are volunteering at Operation P.E.A.C.E.’s Summer Academy from Mon., June 9th, to Friday, August 1st. Will you join us?

OPEACE is one of only four sites selected in Georgia for “Zero Robotics” – a special program sponsored by M.I.T., NASA, and DARPA among others. To help get this project “off the ground,” we especially need STEM (science, technology, engineering, & math) classroom volunteers in the afternoon from 1 p.m. to approximately 4:15 p.m. any day Mon. through Thursday for “Zero Robotics” sessions with middle-school and teen students. Their task: Using lasers and/or gravity, design a system to deflect or destroy any meteor headed for earth. (Remember the damage done by a meteor that struck earth 65 mya and the end of the Dinosaur Age?)

Volunteer classroom helpers also are needed for English language arts/reading, math, science, and art between 9 a.m. and noon Mon., Tues., and Thurs. (Fridays are “Fun Friday” when children go on field trips and attend special events, so volunteers are not needed on Fridays.)

If you are interested in volunteering please complete this form. Once the form is received, a required negative background check form will be sent to you by email.

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Filed under Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence

Family Nights for Foster Care Support Is Underway

 

UUCA and CHRIS Kids (foster care support) Family Nights series began  May 8.    Join in!

Here’s a report on “Fun” from the first night!

London Bridge (is falling down), and homemade chicken/vegetable enchiladas, were a hit for nine resident CHRIS Kids moms and their young children at Promise the Children’s May 8 debut of “Family Nights”.

UUCA volunteers Hildegarde Gray, Jo Mitchell, Joy Borra, and Meghan and Harper Ramsey were the launch team for this new, bi-monthly fellowship initiative to support vulnerable young mothers seeking self sufficiency.

In a thank you note to Hildegarde the next day, CHRIS Kids program manager, Shemekla Frazier-Sorrells, writes:

“On behalf of the youth and staff, I would like to extend my greatest appreciation to you and your team. The ladies thoroughly enjoyed helping prepare the meal and fellowshipping with you all. I observed several learning opportunities in which your team modeled with the children appropriate games, interaction and redirection. One of the young ladies said to me, ‘We should have this more often, just for us.’ Thanks for being a blessing to us all.”

 

Promise the Children is building volunteer teams now. If you enjoy meaningful, family-friendly (age 12+) community service opportunities, they don’t come any better!

 

WHAT is the opportunity?
UUCA’s Promise the Children group (PtC) is organizing twice-monthly Family Nights with vulnerable young mothers and their children, including dinner and fun activities.

Beginning May 8th, and each 2nd and 4th Thursday for a trial period of six months, we will coordinate small teams to join a few families at CHRIS Kids for 2 hours of cooking, dining, fellowship and play.

WHY is Promise the Children embarking on this project?
It grew out of the interest of some PtC members in the well-being of Georgia’s children aging out of foster care, and with the bigger picture of food insecurity and nutrition.

600 Georgia youth “age out” of foster care each year without resources for self-sufficiency. While the children in “our” group of CHRIS Kids residents are with birth mothers, they, the mothers, are products of foster care, formerly homeless and seeking the tools to succeed on their own.

WHAT is CHRIS Kids? (www.chriskids.org)
Since 1981, it is one of the leading nonprofit organizations that works with foster children in Atlanta, providing interim housing, health and counseling services, and support systems – their name an acronym for “Creativity, Honor, Respect, Integrity and Safety”.

HOW will Family Nights work?
UUCA volunteers will spend the time building positive relationships with resident mothers and their children (likely 4-6 families on average), primarily through:
i) cooking easy recipes and eating together, demonstrating nutritional enhancements to foods they already know; and,
ii) engaging the children in fun activities such as crafts, reading, games and outdoor play.

First Date: Thursday, May 8th

Time: 3:30-4:30 Intro to CHRIS Kids, training by staff (required)
5:00-7:00 dinner and family activities

Location: CHRIS Kids
1017 Fayetteville Rd., Atlanta 30316

Volunteers: 4-6, in 2 teams working/bonding with residents on:
-Meal prep: recipes and ingredients provided
-Child activity: reading, crafts, games, outside play

WHERE can I get more details and sign up?
Contact: promisethechildren@uuca.org

 

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April 17, 2014 · 5:00 pm

Math Volunteers Needed at Operation P.E.A.C.E.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays UUCA volunteers operate a 5th grade math club at Operation P.E.A.C.E.’s afterschool program, located at 542 Boulevard. We need one more volunteer to help us on Tuesdays, and either the same or a different volunteer to help on Thursdays. These at-risk children–many of whom have big problems with their math–live in the Old Fourth Ward, attend the Hope-Hill Elementary School (where UUCA has partnered for over 20 years), and are among the poorest children attending Hope-Hill. Can you help?

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete this form. In the “How Frequently Can You Help?” field please say whether you can come most weeks, or whether you can only come from time to time.

For more information, please contact Beth Davis (etdavis6@earthlink.net or 404-687-8641).

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Filed under Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence

Volunteer on Saturdays to Work with At-Risk Inner City Children

Our friends at Big Bethel A.M.E. Church in downtown Atlanta are reaching out on Saturdays to at-risk and neglected children. Their Saturday school aims to promote academic achievement, good character, and self esteem. Big Bethel–one of our partners in the Interfaith Children’s Movement–has asked us to roll up our sleeves and join in this important effort.

Many of the children Big Bethel serves live in the Old Fourth Ward, where UUCA partners with Hope-Hill Elementary and Operation P.E.A.C.E.. Those of us who have seen Big Bethel’s program in action can attest to the value of the work the church is doing on Saturdays with children of all faiths.

Big Bethel’s Saturday program runs from 10 to 3 at the church’s recreational center located at 208 Auburn Avenue. Volunteer reading classroom helpers are needed from 10:30 a.m. to noon each Saturday. Volunteer math classroom helpers are needed from 1 p.m. to approximately 2:30 p.m. No experience is required for classroom helper volunteers.

Math, reading and writing tutors also are needed to work in 50 minute sessions with small groups of students or one-on-one. We are especially interested in experienced tutors who can establish an individualized curriculum for an at-risk student; volunteer tutors who are current, former, or retired teachers are especially welcome.

If you can help, please fill out this form and submit it. If you would prefer to work with children at a certain grade level or range of grade levels, please let us know in Grade Level Preferences; if you don’t have a grade preference, you may leave that field blank. In the “how many Saturdays” field please indicate whether you can come most or all Saturdays every month, or only certain Saturdays, for example, the second and fourth Saturdays. If you have a special interest or talent you would like to share with the children, there is a field for that, too.

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Filed under Help for Homeless and Struggling Families, Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence

Atlanta: US Capital City of Inequality

A March 5 editorial by Jay Bookman in the AJC calls attention to data showing that Atlanta suffers from the largest disparity in income between rich and poor of any other large US city.

“The questions are why that gap exists, and how it might be closed,” Bookman writes. Having asked the questions, he does not pretend to provide definitive answers. But he observes that extreme inequality is closely associated with isolation and de facto segregation–and that the relevant data prove that positions at the bottom of the income scale are in essence hereditary.

Bookman concludes by observing that

what we see around us today are the results of patterns both in individual lives and in the life of a city that have proved stubbornly resistant to change. And the best catalyst for that change remains a strong teacher in a classroom, opening doors and opening minds, who is supported by a larger community that finds the status quo unacceptable.

That’s us. We find the status quo unacceptable. And that’s why we work with kids at Hope=Hill, Operation P.E.A.C.E., and Big Bethel AME Church. It isn’t always easy. But it’s work that must be done.

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Filed under Help for Homeless and Struggling Families, Hope-Hill Neighborhood Partnership for Academic Excellence, The Informed Advocate