Memphis, TN—Today, Donna Gaines, president and founder of ARISE2Read, announces that the organization is an official educational nonprofit after being recognized by the Internal Revenue Service and the state of Tennessee. This status means that ARISE2Read will be able to accept donations, partner with ministries across the city, and expand to the greater Memphis area.
In addition to training volunteers to tutor second-graders in reading, ARISE2Read recruits area churches to adopt schools and seeks to establish Good News Clubs on school campuses.
“When the Lord impressed the need to serve our city through education, I was overwhelmed at where to begin,” said Donna Gaines. “Through prayer and His faithfulness, God has opened doors we never would have imagined. We are so excited to see what the Lord will do in and through ARISE2Read as we recruit volunteers to spend one hour a week with the second-graders of our Shelby County Schools. Our goal is for every student to be on grade level in reading by third-grade.”
ARISE2Read works in conjunction with the Shelby County School board to follow school policy and to learn of opportunities where area churches are able to assist targeted schools and support educators in their efforts to enhance public education.
“What I appreciate the most about ARISE2Read is the intentional connection this organization shares with not only our principals and teachers, but also our students and parents," said Dr. Cynthia Alexander-Mitchell, the Director of Family and Community Engagement for Shelby County Schools. "These volunteers take the time to invest in the coaching of our students, building the whole child, therefore producing a positive impact on the future leaders of our community. Shelby County is and will be a better community because we are supported by ARISE2Read.”
During the 2013-2014 school year, the statistics gathered by the ARISE2Read team showed second-grade students increased their ability to read on grade level by 115% by working with ARISE2Read coaches trained in the Team Read program. In the 2014-2015 school year, the statistics taken by the ARISE2Read team showed second-grade students increased their ability to read on grade level by 164% – an even greater increase – simply by regularly working with ARISE2Read coaches trained in Team Read.
ARISE2Read was founded by Donna Gaines in 2012, basing the name on the Bible verse from Psalms 78:6-7, “That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to born, that they may ARISE and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.”
For more information on ARISE2Read or to donate, visit our website www.arise2read.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.