My personal association with Lester and his work in literacy spans a couple of decades. When I served as the Regional Advocate for the U.S. Small Business Administration, we strongly focused on literacy in the marketplace. I became acquainted with Lester in my pursuit of information for establishing ESL and literacy programs in small businesses.
Later, when my husband and I became directors of the Jerusalem Ministry at our church in Cedar Hill, we again turned to Lester and Literacy Connexus for guidance. First, he led us through establishing what is now a very strong ESL program, and secondly, a family literacy focus through our church's apartment ministry. Our church maintains an apartment for on-site ministry and scheduled activities that benefit both children and their families.
The Kid's Club that meets twice a month, the weekly adult Bible study, and the monthly family fellowships all pointed out the need for a greater concentration on literacy.
We instituted a daily reading activity during our summer food program last year, and it has proved to be very successful. At the registration in late May, we gave each child a number of books and their very own bookcase to begin their reading journey. We are continuing the reading program with a daily after school program, partnering with The Chocolate Mint Foundation, which provides tutoring to augment our reading program.
Our literacy efforts will expand later this month, when our church participates in its annual Love Loud program to take missions to the community on a Saturday. We will give each child who attends a bag of books, and each family a bookcase. During the day, our Rockin' Readers will be available to read to children and families, in our continuing efforts to encourage reading as a family event.