Photo courtesy of Ohtra Awad.
KaiLian Davis, a Prince of Peace Catholic Church teen parishioner, tutored Cameron Hunter in a summer literacy program as part of a John Carroll Catholic High School mission trip to Vredenburgh, Alabama. Prince of Peace was a sponsor of the literacy program.
Prince of Peace Catholic Church, along with two Birmingham foundations, sponsored a six-week summer reading program for children in the Black Belt community of Vredenburgh, Alabama.
Not only did POP help to fund the program, but six teen parishioners who attend John Carroll Catholic High School (Ohtra Awad, KaiLian Davis, AJ Kingsmore, Veronica Werszner, Daniel West and Ellen Willet) went to Vredenburgh to work with the children in custom-designed literacy skills program.
The six teens were part of a John Carroll mission trip put together by theology teachers Michael Bouton and Sister Margaret Andrew.
Prince of Peace has a 25-year relationship with Vredenburgh, assisting this former lumber mill town in various ways through its ecumenical ministry.
POP has worked hand in hand with the Sisters of St. Joseph’s ministry on many Vredenburgh outreach projects, including the planning, design and construction of the Vredenburgh community center where this year’s reading program was held. (That four-year project also included help from the Living Stones Temple, and the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church.)
This year, Prince of Peace was pleased to join the Michael and Gillian Goodrich Foundation and the Daniel Foundation to help Sister Kathleen Navarra of the Sisters of St. Joseph to bring a literacy program to the former lumber mill town.
Sister Kathy has been working in ministry in the Alabama Black Belt for 16 years and worked closely with Better Basics, a Birmingham-based literacy enrichment and intervention provider, to create a program tailored to the needs of the children of Vredenburgh with the donated money.
In addition to the funding the reading program for 35 children, grant money from Prince of Peace and the other two groups paid the salaries of two teachers from neighboring Selma to oversee and implement the six-week learning adventure.
The two teachers, Courtney and Joshua Stewart, also trained six Vredenburgh parents so that an after-school tutoring/enrichment program for the students can begin in the fall.
All of the children in the program also received between six and eight books to begin their own home library.