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Sep 18, 2015 | Kevin Thompson

Cathedral Partners With Kids Hope To Make Impact In Children’s Lives

 

Christ Church Cathedral, Houston partners with The Rusk School, a magnet school for science and technology, through a national program called Kids Hope USA to provide one-on-one mentoring. Ninety-five percent of the students at Rusk are Hispanic and children are recommended for the program by their teachers or by a member of the school administration.

 

“Our program is really trying to encourage members of the church to form bonds and connections with local school who have low-income family needs where the kids are missing something at home,” said the Rev. Glenice Robinson-Como.

 

Mentors meet with the kids individually for one hour a week, on campus at Rusk, throughout the entire school year, with many mentors choosing to serve for multiple years.

 

Sitting in Robinson-Como’s office, you get a sense that connecting the Cathedral with inner-city kids and the community around them, gives her energy and mission. “We are called to be a part of this, and what better place to start than the church,” said Robinson-Como.

 

With teachers working long hours, the mentors help fill a gap that is often not provided to children. From modeling leadership to simply helping with homework, each mentor undoubtedly receives just as much life experience and love as the mentees. With as little as one hour a week of face-to-face interaction, the life of a child in the program can be drastically changed.

 

Former principal at The Rusk School, Steven Gutierrez wrote his doctoral thesis on mentoring, based on the KHUSA model at Rusk. He found that kids who were mentored demonstrated a higher rate of improvement on testing than non-mentored kids. Robinson-Como is now looking at ways to help spread the Kids Hope program to help support impoverished schools not only around the diocese, but across the nation.

 

“My vision is one day to have a school district where all children have everything that they need. In building these relationships with church and school, hopefully also with the family we can draw them in closer to show that we meet them too,” said Robinson-Como. “When we provide a better education and better life for our children, we’ll have a better world. It starts with them.“

 

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