Once a month, families gather for a Patch Parents meeting, where they share a meal and receive information and resources that help improve their quality of life. At one such meeting, tables surrounding the room were covered with books. Having collected excess book donations for several months, the Educational Opportunities staff members were able to share with the families. Parents were encouraged to take as many as they could use, and most were eager to fill shopping bags full.
One older woman picked up a Bible and smiled, saying that she had lost hers during a recent move and hadn’t been able to purchase another. Several others commented that books were a luxury their families could not otherwise afford, and asked to take some for friends and family as well. One young man, a regular in Educational Opportunities, had his arms full. His mother came over and looked down skeptically, saying “Are you sure you need all those?” The little boy looked up to her in surprise and said “Well yeah! At The Patch, they tell me books are food for your brain and mine is starving!” Everyone laughed and helped him fit a few more books in the bag.
Poverty is a very difficult problem to solve, but long-time staff member Roosevelt Chin always said, “You don’t work yourself out of poverty, you educate your way out!” At The Patch, a creative, engaging approach to teaching, means that children want to learn, and choose a pathway to college readiness and workplace readiness. Parents are involved in the process at every opportunity, and the future of the next generation looks very bright! The Patch’s College Scholars Program, which helps at-risk students earn a degree, is our main area of focus for expansion, and a partnership with the University of Kentucky assures that it will grow!
Reading is just one of many activities at The Patch that inspire a love of learning. What follows is higher educational attainment, workforce readiness, economic stability and a better quality of life.