There are currently as many as 13,000 single-parent families within a three mile radius of First United Methodist Church, and the average family income for the 46,703 people in the three mile radius around FUMC is $30,647—just above poverty level for a family.
Just like most parents, the parents of these families greatly wish for their children to succeed but many are unavailable in afternoons/evenings due to working additional jobs or odd hours in order to have the income needed to support their families.
As a result, many of the children in our community are in need of after school support to help with basic education and life skills. They also need something constructive to do with their time after school.
Upon discovering these statistics through a study in 2013, FUMC realized the need for a community outreach program that supports local children who strive to achieve excellence in school, but who may not have the support to do so on their own.
First United Methodist has been in partnership with Bernard Terrace Elementary for over 35 years, and the school is located within the church's three mile radius. This was one reason we chose Bernard Terrace as our starting point for HYPE. Other reasons include the staggering statistics that told us that Bernard Terrace ranks lower than 75% of schools on Louisiana statewide testing, and 62% of BT students qualify for free lunch based on their parents' income.
HYPE was created to fill this gap and to provide much-needed support to Pre-K through 5th grade students right here in our own community.
Additionally, to provide a more comprehensive source of support to families in our community the HYPE program provides special educational sessions for parents of students in the program. Sessions cover a variety of parent-oriented life skills topics such as:
● Time management
● Meal planning
● Healthy lifestyles
● Behavior management