I had to say YES!

“Literacy is inseparable from opportunity, and opportunity is inseparable from freedom. The freedom promised by literacy is both freedom from – from ignorance, oppression and poverty and freedom to- to do new things, to make choices, to learn.”

Koichiro Mastsuura, Director of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Submitted by guest blogger, Lynda McArthur

My life changed with one email.

One email that I did not delete; one email that I decided to read; one email that changed a course of events. It was one email to me, but a long chain of events preceded it that made a significant difference in the life of a child.

How it all began.

Jessica Tripp from Serve to Lead works with young people in Lee Walker Heights, providing educational support and mentoring. She met Brayden there and this sweet little boy touched her heart. He also burdened her heart.

You see, Brayden made it to third grade in school but he was unable to read.

Serve to Lead reached out to The Key School and a plan was put into action to help Brayden begin the journey toward literacy. That’s when I got the email. Tiffiny Roberson from the Key School, who had met Brayden and saw his great need, contacted me and asked if I would like to help a little boy learn to read. I met Brayden in November and he touched my heart. With his big brown eyes, his beautiful smile, and his sweet personality,

I had to say “yes”! That’s where my story began.

I began meeting with Brayden three times a week at his after school program in Lee Walker Heights. I was a bit intimidated by the environment at first because I had never been to a public housing development. I had not seen the reality of poverty. My heart hurt for the needs of the community; especially for the children. That’s when I knew I had to do whatever I could to help in some small way.

This little boy, Brayden, is a hard worker and he is determined. Sometimes it is challenging but he pushes through because he wants to learn to read. Brayden wants to go to college someday and play basketball. He wants to make a difference. He told me that he thinks reading is important because you need to read to go to college and get a job.

Brayden is on a path to literacy but there are so many more in need!

There are many more beautiful, bright children like him that just need a little extra help and support. They need to know someone cares. They need a little encouragement. I am so glad that I opened that email and took the chance on a little boy. I hope I am making a difference in his life, and I am certain he has made a difference in mine. I am thankful for this chance to open the door to literacy for him so that Brayden has the “opportunity to freedom – to do new things, to make choices, and to learn.”

Contact Serve to Lead and find out how you can help.

Lynda M., Brayden’s tutor