The Lift program is enhancing the lives of children in Grant County through the help of Taylor students and their local community.
Lift is an after-school program that focuses on literacy improvement, whole child development and spiritual nurture within Eastbrook schools. Their mission is to give children who need it a ‘lift’ and to help them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Lift meets after school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:40 to 5:30 p.m. at Upland Community Church.
“Every part of the Lift day is designed to provide opportunities for each student to be healthy, engaged, supported and challenged as they grow,” said Executive Director of Lift, Samantha Cocking. “This is accomplished through literature, play, healthy snack choices, music, games, art, enrichment and positive relationships.
Many students at Taylor now volunteer with the Lift program, finding this to be an excellent opportunity for service and growth. Sophomore Elisabeth Burchfield said that she loves the Lift program because it allows university students to have one-on-one interactions with the children. She finds joy in getting to know them, and enjoys watching them grow and learn in the process.
Senior Thaddeus VanOverberghe is currently interning for Lift with a focus on marketing. He said that within a nonprofit it is important to understand there is a bigger family than just the staff. The volunteers and donors who contribute are from everywhere and they keep the organization running.
“I love the team; they are so committed,” VanOverberghe said. “We have got young people that have graduated from Lift who come back and serve, and we’ve got college kids, and we’ve got the staff and that is really cool to see. The commitment level is high, and the volunteers care.”
Cocking told the story of a girl she called Holly (not her real name) whose life was changed due to this program. Holly was recommended to Lift by her teachers as she needed some academic and personal help. She came into the program with a below average reading level and with confusion about family and God. She captured the hearts of the staff and volunteers and eventually gave her heart to Jesus and was baptized. According to Cocking, Holly is now reading well above grade level and has become a confident young lady.
There are many ways for students to get involved with Lift, including volunteering, prayer, financial support and by providing enrichment to their students.
“The effectiveness of this additional layer of support for kids on our community is profound and measurable,” Cocking said. “We welcome your involvement and support.”
For more information about getting involved send an email to Kelly Sisson at firstname.lastname@example.org.