A new school year is just around the corner. Perhaps the brown paper bag pictured above reminds you of a time when your mother was preparing for you to go back to school. You may only remember how she interrupted your summer activities to try on new school clothes or go shopping for supplies. You never saw all the planning, work, and expense that went into getting you ready for a new school year.
Perhaps you gained a new appreciation for that effort as you prepared your own children for school each year. We see that here at Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries, but not just for one or two children. Between our flagship campus in Monticello and our Harrison Boys Ranch, as well as the other children and teens under our care, we have to get dozens of children and teens ready for the new school year.
Nationally, the cost to get a student ready for school averages more than $600. And the financial need continues through the year. Since many of our children are coming to us from situations of abuse, neglect or abandonment, it is common for them to have fallen behind academically.
These children and teens need your help. Because of generous gifts from friends like you, we’ve seen success stories like this year’s high school graduation class. All four of our graduates this year came from difficult situations.
They each have their own story and their own experiences before arriving at the Baptist Home. Since arriving, Holly has excelled in school. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Spanish Club, and Art Club.
In 2017, Holly was one of 12 high school students that participated in the MASH program hosted by the Drew Memorial Health System, Monticello. The camp was an enrichment program that allowed rising high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to shadow various professionals in the medical field and participate in casting and dissecting, while also becoming certified in basic first-aid and life-support.
Holly will attend Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia this fall and major in computer science & nursing. She plans to become a medical missionary. “I probably would not have been able to do all the things I have done if not for the Baptist Home,” shared Holly.
All of our residents attend public schools. Since many of the children are working below their intended grade level, it takes a great deal of support and work to get them back on track. Because of you, the residents receive the academic support, counseling, and loving home-like environment that they need to succeed.
As we continually try to expand the services needed by the residents we serve, we are breaking ground soon on the administration building on our Boys Ranch campus. The new building will further support at-risk boys in the community.
We believe all of our children have bright futures, and a proper education is just one of the ways to help them realize their potential. The Lord said in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
In the past, you have supported the children at the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries, and we ask that you consider a financial gift at this time to help provide for their needs during the coming school year.