Bookmark and Share

New school year offers children new beginnings

August 7, 2013

By Brenda B. Gray

Paulina is preparing for the first day of her senior year at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Mareli is excited about her first day of college. Tay’quan is nervous about his first day of high school. And Jacob can’t wait for his first day of kindergarten. What do each of these children have in common? For each of them, it’s a new beginning.

It’s been a great summer! The boys and girls have attended VBS, taken beach trips, played on make-shift water slides, feasted on watermelon, and devoured buckets of homemade ice cream. Now it’s time to shift our focus to the new school year. It’s time to begin buying book bags, sports shoes, clothes, and all the other things needed for a successful school year.

For Paulina, becoming a college senior is a dream come true. Last school year, she made the Dean’s list and was inducted into an honor society. She is coming close to her goal of getting her undergraduate degree in social work. Paulina hopes to make a difference in the lives of other young people. What a wonderful testimony to the change she has experienced – a child that once believed her life was falling apart has blossomed into a confident, young Christian women.

Mareli was the first in her family to graduate high school. She is a shy young lady who is filled with so much promise. She graduated early with a 4.0 grade average. While on a recent church visit, I noticed what a leader Mareli has become. She leads by example and inspires other residents. The smile on her face as she sings is contagious. Her houseparents have been a major source of encouragement in helping her to believe in herself and claim all of God’s promises.

Tay’Quan is concerned about fitting in. He is new and will be attending a new school. For many children, the first year of high school can be quite scary. It’s no different for Tay’Quan. But he will not take this new step alone. His houseparents and the other boys in his cottage are there to encourage him and help him succeed.

Jacob is another story. Jacob is beyond excited about his first day in kindergarten. He’s full of questions and his excitement grows every day. He has heard his brothers and sisters talk about school and now it’s his turn to board the big, yellow school bus.

Each of these children has something else in common. They each have been through some hard times. They know what it’s like to feel rejected, bullied and to be told they are worthless. If you are told often enough that you are worthless, you sadly begin to believe it’s true. At Baptist Children’s Homes, we have an opportunity to share a story of success and healing.

Thanks to you, each of these children has another thing in common. When the school year begins, each will be wearing new clothes you help provide. Each will be carrying book bags you help provide. Each child will experience a good night’s sleep in a warm bed and safe place you help provide. They will get encouragment, love and care, and they will be taught by houseparents (that you help provide) that they they can succeed.

For many, it will be the first time they’ve had a caring adult encouraging them as they leave for school. And when a child returns home after a tough day, a houseparent is there to help restore his or her self-confidence. For many of these boys and girls, it is the first time someone has believed in them.

Thank you for expecting them to succeed and for believing in them enough to invest in their future; they are indeed worthwhile investments!

For more information on how you can help, call me at 336-474-1230.