Teaching English, Showing Love

June 16, 2019 by Special Offerings team

Serving young immigrants and refugees

Keeping up in school is hard enough, but for many students around the country, learning a new language while also learning other subjects can be daunting. How can children be expected to survive—let alone thrive—in such a situation?

Seeing an opportunity to help these children improve their chances of success in school and in life, Orchard Park Presbyterian Church of Orchard Park, New York, joined the ministry of the Together All Grow (TAG) tutoring program. Beginning as a summer program in 2005, it has evolved into a year-round endeavor to provide children from pre-kindergarten through high school one-on-one assistance with their homework and English skills (reading, writing, speaking, and socializing). The students, most of whom are immigrants and refugees, often don’t grow up learning or speaking English at home. In fact, many of their parents are learning English themselves so they can take their U.S. citizenship tests. Language classes, then, benefit not only the children but also their families. Over the last decade several attendees have gone on to attend and complete college.

“This unique program is a true collaboration; staff, volunteers and participants from many different religious and cultural backgrounds gather weekly throughout the year to share the love of learning,” said Kathleen Johnson, who created and directs the TAG Program.

Since 2005, Orchard Park Presbyterian has supported this program with gifts to their Pentecost Offering, and hundreds have volunteered hours of time. Because of their faithfulness and ministry, vulnerable children living in the Buffalo, New York, area have the time and attention they need to grow into young adults who will thrive.

Through the Pentecost Offering, we make an impact on children, youth, and young adults in churches and communities around the country. This church-wide offering supports children at risk, ministries with youth, and Young Adult Volunteers. Forty percent of the offering stays with local congregations. Please give generously, because when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.

This post is based on a regional Minute for Mission which can be found on our website as a script.

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When we all do a little,
it adds up to a lot.

By giving to the Pentecost Offering, your congregation participates in helping our children, youth, and young adults grow up to proclaim with the Psalmist, "O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds."