Woods Creek Cares

By: Julie Carson – Founder of Woods Creek Cares

A to Z Party A to Z Literacy Party 2

We don’t always know the whole story… but we are called to obey and pray.  That is where this story begins… 

On Sunday, May 3rd a group of us from Woods Creek Cares met with Mal & Betty from A to Z Literacy Movement.  A group of 15 total families who decided to sponsor a family and assist a school in Africa came together to share love across the world.  As we watched the videos and ate African inspired snacks, colored bookmarks and picked out books for the Zulu family, an ordinary Sunday afternoon became the beginning of an opportunity to open our eyes to the world and experience God’s transforming love and power.

So here we are— a group of families in the Chicago suburbs ready to share love, excited to see how the connections God brought together will serve Him across the globe.  We are eager to connect with the Zulu family and hear how God is working in their lives, and wondering how this will impact our own children’s hearts as we pray for them and share our lives together.  

An exciting new story, all for God’s Glory!

{Woods Creek Cares is a parent-initiated organization from Woods Creek Elementary in Crystal Lake that serves the community through service projects and lifts up the school, staff and students up in prayer.  To find out more about their events and meetings, e-mail woodscreekcares@gmail.com or find them on Facebook under “Woods Creek Cares”}.  

A New School Year!

By Betty Trummel

Jimmy and mum

We got word from our Lusaka Rotary Club contact, Masautso, that he was able to meet with some of the students A to Z is sponsoring and help them arrange their school fees for the new year.  Being in the southern hemisphere means that a new school year begins in January or February.

As I think about the start of my school year back in August here in Illinois, I’m thinking of kids with new shoes, maybe some new clothes, school supplies, and the excitement of a well-decorated elementary classroom filled with books and bulletin boards and lots and lots of resources.  That is not the reality for many children around the world.

The students we sponsor are given the gift of a year of schooling, at what we would consider a relatively small price. Leftover funds can be used for basic school supplies or school uniform.  Children we sponsor show great excitement and gratitude for being given this chance to continue learning.

Jimmy, the student my husband and I chose to sponsor, is 17 years old and is entering the 10th grade.  He would like to complete his secondary schooling and attend a university.  He’s interested in possibly following a path to medicine in the future.  He’s a quiet young man, and very serious about his schoolwork and exams.

When our A to Z Literacy Movement team worked at Shine Zambia Reading Academy last June, Jimmy and other former Shine students came by each day to meet with us.  They are eager for us to keep teaching them, and they took great pride in sharing their notebooks and work with our team.  I am happy that my family can assist Jimmy with school fees, basic supplies, and uniforms.

In Jimmy’s words:  “I want to say thanks for everything that you have done for us/me, cause you have taught me a lot of things and I believe you are still going to teach me more.  I have seen a huge thing in you guys…just to come and help us, for there are few people who do this that you are doing.  I have seen a lot of passion in you and you have a caring and loving heart.  What you are doing shows a lot of kindness.”

Count Your Blessings (and your books!)

r-READING-PILE-OF-BOOKS-large570By Ann Yanchura

If you’re lucky enough to have books all over your house or your classroom, then stop and take a moment to feel grateful. There are so many homes and schools where the choices for reading are slim or even nonexistent, and my heart aches for the children and adults who live in a world bereft of the love of the written word.

Most of us reading this blog have been raised to have our pick of many exciting and beautiful titles to choose from whenever we want to curl up and get lost in a book.

‘Tis the season for settling in for some warm winter reading.

‘Tis the season for browsing the bookstores for the perfect gift for your loved ones.

‘Tis the season to share your books and love of reading with others.

‘Tis the season to be thankful for books, large and small, old and new, heavy and light, funny and sad, true and not-so-true.