Path To Shine – Canton Updates

Summer 2017 Update
Provisions Today began partnering with the Canton Path To Shine program in Dec. 2016. A non-profit founded by Becky Becker, Provisions Today works to help families in Canton. Together with Brenwood Academy they provided Christmas stockings and Easter baskets. Last May, Ms. Becker led a clothes drive for the families in the Canton community whom we know through our ministry, which was especially helpful as it was for siblings and parents, too.

This month Provisions Today is collecting boxes of school supplies for each student in our program to keep and use at home. Many of our students tell us that they would like to color, draw or finish their work at home but lack the supplies to do so.This gift will help enormously.

Thank you, Provisions Today for partnering with us to help children in Cherokee County!

Spring 2017 Update
There’s always a lot going on in our Canton program! One of the volunteers is a retired art teacher, and Mr. Herb delights in sharing his talent with the children. Each year there is a Path To Shine art contest and any Path To Shine student can submit an entry. (Any necessary materials are always supplied by the program so there is not cost for the child/family.) This year, Mr. Herb was delighted when we shared the news that a submission from Canton was one of our three winners! The picture shows Ms. Stephanie reading a story with students listening. Each winner receives a packet of art supplies, a sketch pad, and has their picture framed.

Winter 2017 Update
Christmas was a BIG deal in Canton when one of our volunteers dressed up as Santa Claus! Thanks to the generosity of people at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church, every Path To Shine family was also given a Christmas Tree to enjoy for years to come.

Summer 2016 Update
Our program in Canton is a partnership between Lutherans, Adventists and Episcopalians. We are thankful for the chapel space where we meet, knowing that we can provide a safe and loving place for the children in the community – many of whom live in sub-standard housing.
This summer we were delighted to invite all of the children, and their age appropriate siblings for four wonderful days of creativity and fun. We started with a barbecue (34 children and 6 adults attended) where everyone enjoyed hot dogs. Next we had a craft day where retired art teacher, Mr. Herb, encouraged the children as they painted pictures. We also had a movie day and a cooking day, and of course, Mr. Mike was there to provide music with his trusty guitar. There were plenty of smiling faces all around!

Spring 2016 Update:
We have had a great school year, with some new volunteers and a re-newed sense of mission. We were delighted to have Catherine Petillo, a volunteer from Kennesaw State Univeristy with us for a while. She was a great tutor, willing to help as needed, and the children really liked her. Two parishioners from St Luke’s in Blue Ridge put up a fence for us on the play yard. This has been a great help as previously the balls kept going down the hill and now they don’t! The children wrote a thank you note and were curious to learn how they put up the fence.

Our Easter Egg Hunt was enjoyed by everyone, and each child was given a basket full of goodies. Miss Stephanie brought her special chickens that lay blue and brown eggs, and told us about the different kinds of chickens. We had fun reading Green Eggs and Ham that day!

Mr. Mike taught the children the song, “Do the Right Thing” and the kids request it each week. They really relate to the words….do the right thing and do it all the time, make yourself right…..

At the end of the day, it is apparent that the volunteers love working with the children, and they get as much joy out of Path To Shine as the children do! Thank you for sharing this wonderful program!

January 2016 Update:
We are using the Path To Shine curriculum for group time, and focusing on homework &/or grade level activities. We are encouraging reading and checking out books from our “library” – well-stocked thanks to donations from various sources including a lot of generous Path To Shine supporters!

Presently we have 10 volunteers from St Clements’ Episcopal Church, 4 from the Lutheran Church and several from other local churches. We have an average of 16 children each week and individual volunteers are in charge of snacks, story telling/reading, games and the most important TUTORING. We have music every week. We are grateful for our 2 Spanish Speaking Volunteers; they are SO good and so active!
The Children’s names were placed on St. Clements’ Angel Tree this Christmas. Each child was able to make one gift wish. Path To Shine added to these gifts and contributed many wonderful books. Needless to say, the children were overjoyed! They showed their appreciation by writing thank you notes to the gift givers. We took pictures of the Children and Volunteers in Santa hats and rain deer antlers. The volunteers always have as much fun as the children and we are blessed to work with them.

THANK YOU, Dr. Foster!
Dr. Carol Foster took a unique leap of faith when she agreed to lead Path To Shine in Canton. We had 2 programs running that were connected to Episcopal churches in Smyrna and Macon but this was the first time we had partnered with a church of another denomination. Undeterred, she stepped in, took hold of the reins, and established a wonderful program where the children have blossomed beyond our hopes for them. We are so thankful for her commitment and her 2.5 years of hard work, and wish her many relaxed days ahead.

August 2014 Report from Canton
Our dedicated volunteers had the reward of seeing our students make a great deal of progress this past school year. We were especially proud of the students who were awarded for their academic achievements, the very students who were academically “behind” a year ago.
Nearly all of the Path To Shine students were able to attend our Vacation Bible School where they were fed and nurtured and loved. We were thrilled to have them participate!

We are excited to have volunteers from St. Clements Episcopal Church joining us this year, and we look forward to getting to know them. The community that we serve desperately needs this program and we are so thankful to be able to provide some support.

January 2014 Report by Dr. Carol Foster
The Canton Path To Shine program is keeping a steady enrollment of 19 children. Norma Houck is a treasured addition to the Path To Shine staff as she dedicates the final twenty minutes of each session to story-telling. Norma has a unique talent of keeping these children focused and involved during the story telling time. The cold weather is a challenge for many of our families and we were delighted to give each child a new sweater for Christmas. Some of our tutors are giving extra time to the children doing additional tutoring during the week. We are very proud of William who received an OUTSTANDING on his latest report card. We have been blessed with the donations of books to our library. We now have a total of over 800 books from which children check out a book each week to read at home. Path To Shine continues to provide an important educational motivation for these children.