During the school year, our reading incentive program has students read 20 minutes every day at Homework Help. Every day they come and read, students can put a sticker on the reading chart. At the end of each quarter, we celebrate our Top Readers with a special celebration. The requirements became stricter this quarter, as we had so many consistent readers! This time, if students missed 3 days or less of reading (over the entire quarter) they would be invited to the party. We had 40 kids qualify! Competition was definitely fierce. Instead of the typical pizza party, we changed things up and did a pancake party! It was fun to introduce kids to a part of American culture that almost none of them had ever encountered. The response to trying pancakes for the first time was, as expected, extremely positive.
We love partnering with other ministries in our area to help serve our community. The more partnerships we form with churches and non profits, the more ways we can reach the families of Cedar Point with the gospel and connect them with support for their needs. One partnership we are especially excited about is Hope Reins. This horse ranch is designed to help children who are dealing with various trauma find hope and healing by connecting with animals that have also experienced trauma. We have been able to take children from Cedar Point to visit the ranch, which allowed them to experience an afternoon of connecting with horses, fishing on a pond, and being loved by volunteers. At Christmas, Hope Reins hosted a Christmas party for our group, and each child received an evening of fun and celebration, as well as hearing the hope of the gospel. For more information about Hope Reins, you can visit their website at hopereins.org .
This Christmas we received 380 donated books to give as Christmas gifts to all the students at Cedar Point. We distributed the gifts on the last day of Preschool and Homework Help in 2018 with much joy and excitement. Homework Help is considered the gateway to our ministry - it is where we meet families and students for the first time. It is our largest program and is open to everyone living at Cedar Point. It is our great blessing to love our refugee neighbors with the hope of the gospel through everyday actions such as extending a listening ear, giving encouragement, and even gifting a surprise book for Christmas! We gave these gifts as you who donated them did: with a prayer that every child may come to know the love of Christ, and call Him their Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.