Independent Presbyterian Church has reached out to children in Birmingham’s North Avondale and Kingston communities through our STAIR (Start the Adventure in Reading) after-school reading tutoring program and our Summer Learning Program at the Children’s Fresh Air Farm in Bluff Park, which both serve children attending Hayes K-8 School. Through our relationships with these children, we have also built strong relationships with their families and other residents of North Avondale and Kingston. In 2014, we began to explore how we could partner with individuals and families in these communities to provide meaningful opportunities for adult education and other needed services that would provide a doorway they could walk through to greater independence and a deeper sense of hope for a future of abundance.
“It has been our joy and privilege to develop deep relationships with many of the residents in North Avondale and Kingston, and we have heard from the residents the many obstacles they face in being able to access services they need in order for individuals and families to flourish,” said The Rev. Susan Clayton, Associate Pastor for Community Ministries at IPC. “We have a great sense of hope for the future of these wonderful communities and their residents and we believe we can partner with other organizations and the members of the community to offer that doorway for people to walk through into a new future.”
Starting September 19th, residents of the community can find that doorway at JCCEO’s building on 46th Street North in Kingston. IPC along with the Literacy Council of Central Alabama and Jefferson State Community College through the generosity of JCCEO in providing space and resources to house the programming, will provide Basic Adult Literacy tutoring, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and GED classes Mondays through Thursdays. The program will be called The Open Door: A Ministry of Independent Presbyterian Church.
“By providing Basic Literacy, ESL and GED classes, you are not only helping a parent get a job. You are also helping parents teach their child, so the child can make it successfully through the education system,” explained Beth Wilder, Executive Director of The Literacy Council of Central Alabama.
In a state where roughly 15 percent of adults struggle with literacy, the Open Door needs your help. We are looking for volunteers to serve as Adult Basic Literacy and ESL tutors, as well as volunteers to help the Jefferson State Community College GED instructor with tasks related to the class. We also need volunteer receptionists to staff our reception desk for a few hours between the hours of 8:30AM and 1:30PM Mondays through Thursdays. If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, please call The Rev. Susan Clayton at (205)933-3709 or The Literacy Council at (205) 326-1925.