When we see improving test scores, smiling faces in pictures, and stories of children passing their 8th grade exam and moving into high school, we must remember the individuals interacting and challenging these students on a daily basis - their teachers. This summer New Hope Initiative tried something new with many of the short-term missions teams that come for a week or two. A few teachers joined a team for dinner each evening, allowing teams to get to know more about the teachers that run our school. We also had teams come to specifically work on professional development with the teachers. After getting to know a few of the teachers, Joshua Zukowski from Detroit Michigan responded, “…what they do is more than a job. They're doing it for so much more than giving the kids an education. They're giving the kids hope. They do what they do every single day because they know that by giving these kids an education they are giving them a fighting chance.” Joshua is not alone in this observation. Another volunteer named Sarah remarked, “EVERY one of the teachers has a heart for students and a deep desire to provide these kids with opportunities that could only be afforded them through education!” Their genuine love for the students drives these teachers to see the children improve their test scores, thereby making the advancement to high school a reality for all who attend New Hope Academy. As a result, many of the teachers come in on Saturdays to give the children an opportunity to learn more than they would if a normal workweek was observed. The teachers also seek to improve themselves professionally in order to better equip their students. This summer a team of teachers from Holland, Michigan spent considerable time working with the teachers. One of the volunteers, Ingrid, observed, “they were engaged and excited about learning new ways to develop participation in their classroom through building relationships with their students…The teaching staff of New Hope Academy, including Headmaster Festus, are incredibly hardworking, dedicated and faithful educators.” The teachers were very receptive to new techniques and many are also trying to further their own education.
We are very thankful for this passionate group of teachers and staff and we ask that you keep them in your prayers. Many of the teachers have long commutes for work, live far away from their families, and are balancing the challenging task of furthering their own education while also working. Pray for their families, security, their commute, professional development, and pray for their work with the students.