A Move Out Story: Uniting Literacy and Community

Melissa Thwing

Melissa Thwing

Social Media & Marketing Manager

When Kensington volunteer Barb Deradoorian walks into the Center for Success, a worst day can become the best day when kids come flooding to her for hugs. Known as the lady who gives “the best hugs,” she has been volunteering at CFS for four years.

“CFS is a place for encouragement for these kids,” she said. “The kids feel safe and comfortable. It’s exciting to see their growth and progress.”

Founded in 2013, the mission of the organization is to unite literacy and community to empower students in the journey of education. The kids who come to the center struggle with literacy on various levels. Barb said one student came without the ability to recognize letters, but left the program reading and gaining comprehension skills.

“My heart was broken for this young boy, but it finally clicked,” Barb said. “I was very emotional when I witness his breakthrough.

Literacy and Poverty
Kensington attender Adrianne Jackson experiences the relationship between literacy and poverty firsthand as the director of Pontiac’s Center for Success.

There is direct correlation between poverty and illiteracy. Limited exposure to reading materials, poor health, a scarcity of food, housing instability and unsafe environments are all additional challenges that children living in communities right in our midst often encounter.

Studies have shown that by age 5, half of children living in poverty are not academically or socially ready for school. These children often fall behind during critical formative years, which affects their performance in the classroom, social skills, health, and economic status later in life.

Kensington supports CFS by equipping and mobilizing volunteers passionate about helping under-resourced kids to volunteer with the after-school tutoring and mentoring program. Move Out Team volunteers work one-one-one with students to improve literacy levels.

“We just love our Kensington volunteers,” Adrianne said. “They have love oozing out of them and the kids know they are valued.”

Each after-school session includes transportation from school, a nourishing meal, enrichment activities, and a one-on-one individualized literacy block designed with each student’s unique literacy needs in mind.

Equally as important as building trusting relationships with the kids are the efforts aimed at improving reading scores on Michigan’s standardized test, the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP.

The new state law in effect, commonly known as the Read by Grade 3 Law, says school districts must hold back third-graders who are more than one grade level behind in reading, or English Language Arts, as it’s called on M-STEP.

Just 12.2% of Pontiac School District third-graders scored proficiently in reading on the 2018-19 M-STEP, the lowest in Oakland County.

“Because our students are so far behind in their literacy scores, we partner with the schools and provide the extra resources outside of the school day to boost them to where they need to be,” Adrianne said.

Investing in the Program
Recently, Kensington awarded a Move Out grant to the Center for Success in Pontiac to fund new books for the library that reflect more diversity by having characters that are more representative of the students.

Adrianne said one of the key factors in literary success is for students to relate and connect with the characters they are reading about, and these new books will engage kids at a much higher level.

With these funds, CFS purchased enough books to keep each student’s reading time interesting, engaging, and relatable every day.

Each week students check out books from the library, which are sometimes the only books the kids have access to. According to the Heart of America foundation, 61 percent of families living in poverty do not have children’s books in their homes.

Over the course of the year, students who are a part of CFS advance two or more grade reading levels, on average.

“While we see vast improvements in literacy, we also see kids develop deep, meaningful relationships,” she said. “These students need social and emotional support.”

Move Out
Adrianne said the perfect volunteer is anybody who loves kids and is willing to give an hour of their time a week. She has seen the most success when a student is paired with a mentor who invests in the student’s progress.

Learn more about the program at kensingtonchurch.org/moveout.

Share this post

You Might Like...
steve andrews
Steve Andrews

A Church Planting Movement

The Journey So Far I was at a church growth conference 30 years ago, where Rick Warren said “we need all kinds of churches for all kinds of people.” I loved this idea of diversity.

family
Danny Robles

Not Our First Quarantine

God is good. God sees our situations through. God is mighty to save. (Zephaniah 3:17) Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it. (Luke 11:28)

Never miss another blog post.
Subscribe to be notified when new posts are published.

pagination_prv_arrow
December 24 Services
December 24 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services
December 23 Services
December 24 Services

Divorce Recovery

You don’t have to go through the pain and stress of divorce or separation alone. Our Divorce Recovery workshop combines expert speakers, small group discussion and a time of community with people on the same journey.

Divorce Recovery Winter Sessions

Troy campus | Mondays 7-9pm | Feb 5 – Apr 15

Orion campus | Tuesdays 7-9pm | Feb 6 – Apr 16

Cost: $45
The cost includes a workbook, snacks at each meeting (including coffee), and dinner at end of session. Childcare available.

You are encouraged to join us on any week. Sessions are self-contained.

Grief Recovery

At Kensington’s Grief Recovery support group, you can find hope and healing after the loss of a loved one. It’s a place where you’ll encounter caring people who can empathize with your pain because they’ve been through it themselves.

Winter Grief Recovery | Feb 6 – April 30 | Orion campus
Winter Grief Recovery | Feb 13 – May 7 | Troy campus (DAYTIME GROUP!)

Find a Grief Recovery group near you: griefshare.org

You are encouraged to join us on any week. Sessions are self-contained.

Kensington Visitation

Our dedicated volunteers bring encouragement and prayers of faith to those who are in local hospitals, medical centers, recovery centers and homebound. If you or someone you know would like to be blessed by such a visit, email visitation@kensingtonchurch.org or call the Troy Campus during business hours at 248-786-0600.

Pastoral Care

Members of our Pastoral Care Team are trained by the nationally known Stephen Ministry program and are compassionate listeners who walk alongside others to provide skilled and distinctly Christian care in times of need. They can’t promise to have all the answers, but they can promise their focused support. To receive care from one of our Pastoral Care Team members, call us at 248.786.0600 and ask for a Campus Care Provider – they can get the process started.

Interested in joining our Pastoral Care Team? Email us for more info.

Retreats

Podcasts

Websites

Subscriptions

Marriage 365

Married People

Growing In Marriage

Prepare Enrich

Subscriptions

Marriage 365

Married People

Growing In Marriage

Prepare Enrich

Books We Love

Preparing For Marriage

Marriage Prep

Before the Last Resort

Marriage Restoration

Vertical Marriage

Marriage Growth

Secrets of Sex and Marriage

Intimacy

Men Only/For Women Only

Marriage Growth

Smart Step Family

Blended families

The Meaning of Marriage

Marriage Prep

The Power of a Praying Wife

Marriage Growth

The Power of a Praying Husband

Marriage Growth

The 5 Love Languages

Dating

Love and Respect

Marriage Growth

Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away

Marriage Restoration

101 Questions To Ask Before You Get Engaged

Dating

Newlywed Couple's Devotional

Newlywed

365 Connecting Questions

Connecting

Fierce Marriage

Marriage

Children's Programming During Services

Troy

5pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

7pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

11am | 12/24

Birth–PreK programming

1pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

3pm | 12/24

Birth–PreK programming

5pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Orion

5pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

7pm | 12/23
No children’s programming

11am | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

1pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK and Elementary programming

3pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK and Elementary programming

5pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Clinton Twp

5pm | 12/23
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

7pm | 12/23
Birth–PreK programming

11am | 12/24
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

1pm| 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

3pm| 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Birmingham

11am | 12/24
Birth-PreK programming


1pm | 12/24
Birth-PreK programming

Traverse City

2pm | 12/24
No children’s programming

4pm | 12/24
Birth–PreK programming

Clarkston

10am | 12/24
Birth-PreK and Elementary programming

12pm | 12/24

Birth-PreK programming

Marriage and Blended Family

The Marriage Course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Strengthen your communication and gain a deeper understanding of your partner. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.
REGISTER

The Blended Family Workshop addresses the confusing roles and boundaries involved in blending families and identifies why parents so often struggle in blending their efforts. Find a community of people who are contemplating blending a family or are “in the trenches” building and growing their blended family!
REGISTER


Please email 
marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Spiritual Formations

Discover rhythms and practices that can help us abide in the love, grace, and hope of God, where our lives can be transformed. Explore some of these practices together with others who are pursuing the same. To find out more, please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org.

Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.

Podcast

Helpful Blogs

Other Materials

Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Financial Compass

Financial Compass is designed to help you discover the freedom found in wisely managing the resources God provides. To find out more, please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org.

Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

All Campuses

Clarkston

Orion

Troy

Alpha

What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Registration coming soon!

Birmingham

Clinton Twp

Orion

Traverse City

Troy

You will then be directed to PushPay for payment.
For additional questions, please contact giving@kensingtonchurch.org or call 248.786.0637

GROUP LEADER DEVELOPMENT