As a part of FUMC’s Vision, an After School Program was established in August of 2014. HYPE (Helping Youth Prepare for Excellence) meets Monday – Thursday on FUMC’s campus, with 32 students enrolled for the Spring 2016 Semester.
BY RON GARAY
Okay, sports fans. Here’s the story. Game tied, the Saints are driving to score in the last minute of the fourth quarter. Folks all over Baton Rouge are glued to their television screens in anticipation of a big play. Well, not everyone. Some persons have a different take altogether on the big game. In fact, they’re not even watching. Believe it or not, they’re talking about HYPE. That’s right. True story. A family spending time on a Sunday afternoon talking about FUMC’s HYPE program and what it means to them. And it should come as no surprise that HYPE means a lot to all of them.
Sisters Kataria and Kaniya had a decision to make on the Sunday afternoon in question. Which of two after school programs would they be attending—the one at their school or FUMC’s HYPE? Actually, since both already were HYPE “veterans” of the program’s first semester, the decision was pretty simple. Kataria and Kaniya both were determined to head back to HYPE. A final decision, though, would have to come from their grandmother, Mrs. Stewart, who was filling-in as parent while the girl’s mother was dealing with some health issues. Attending HYPE would not be easy, since transportation home from HYPE was a problem. But Mrs. Stewart, with her son’s help, solved the problem. Kataria and Kaniya would be on their way back to HYPE!
Mrs. Stewart is as much a fan of HYPE as her granddaughters. The sisters’ enthusiasm for what they experience as a result of HYPE would be hard to miss. According to Mrs. Stewart, Kataria and Kaniya start talking about all they’ve learned and the good times they’ve shared as soon as they leave FUMC each afternoon. And both are more than eager for next week’s HYPE. There will be fun, but there also will be work. Taking care of homework, in fact, is at the top of the priority list for HYPE students. Mentors help out, and in Kataria’s case her math scores have improved as a result. But their grandmother has noticed some of the intangibles Kataria and Kaniya have gained from HYPE. It’s the “best of the best,” she says. “HYPE gives them a Christian atmosphere, teaches them the right things about living.” There also is the care and attention the girls have received that has made the HYPE experience so meaningful.
Mrs. Stewart and Kataria and Kaniya’s mother are really no different than the many parents and grandparents who attend FUMC. They want the best for their children and grandchildren. They want them to have good learning opportunities and to live productive lives. This is why HYPE is so important. HYPE provides the kind of environment, the kind of mentoring, and the kind of attention that children need. HYPE helps children find the right path, the Christian path, to achieving their potential. HYPE children and mentors often meet as strangers, but the bond they form will last forever. Football games on a Sunday afternoon come and go, but a HYPE volunteer who nourishes a child’s curiosity, who teaches that child something new and important and who shares with that child the love of God and Christ all at the same time—Well, that’s special. So, come be a part of HYPE—and maybe help change a life.
Did you know:
in August – December 2015
32 Students enrolled at HYPE
10 HYPE students were on the A/B Honor Roll
11 HYPE Students were on the Principals List
2 HYPE Students were listed as Most Improved
1 HYPE Student earned the award of Best Listener in her class
11 HYPE Students earned perfect attendance at their school
Volunteer with HYPE
- Monday – Thursday
- 3:45 – 5:30 pm
- Volunteer by: homework help, science experiments, art projects, reading with a student, baking demonstrations, gardening, etc.
- Most volunteers participate one day a week
- Stay for an hour, or more