Morrow, Central United Methodist Church Received Grant for Literacy for Lincoln Schools Ministry

200K More Reasons recently granted $2,000 from the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas to Morrow United Methodist Church in Winslow and Central United Methodist Church in Lincoln for the Literacy for Lincoln Schools ministry. This summer literacy program distributes books to students from kindergarten through third grade in Lincoln schools. Literacy for Lincoln School will give books to students on their last day of school while providing them with food each week during the summer.

“We are currently involved in a weekend food ministry with Bright Futures through Lincoln Schools, which supplies food to families on a short-term basis,” said Kevin Krest, a member of Morrow United Methodist Church. “Our area is mostly rural with many issues from food insecurity to lack of family support for literacy. Once Lincoln Schools students go home for the summer, they tend to lose touch with a support network that helps them continue to advance in their literacy level. This program will help the community by strengthening the youth within it.”

The Literacy for Lincoln Schools ministry will combine books with food, helping to fill the gap between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. Krest says some goals the church has for Literacy for Lincoln Schools include an increased number of children involved in summer reading and the number of books distributed through weekend backpacks of food.

“We plan on supplying 350 students with at least three books as well as food every week to those experiencing food insecurity,” Krest explained. “We hope this ministry will impact the community positively by continuing our food ministry, which Morrow United Methodist Church has supported for three years now.”

“Because Literacy for Lincoln Schools is an extension of a weekend food ministry to impact both literacy and food insecurity issues,” said Krest. “The books will help the children keep up with grade-level reading skills while having food over the summer. Knowing they do not have to worry about hunger when school is not in session helps them focus on other, constructive things like maintaining literacy.”

Books for Literacy for Lincoln Schools will cost about $3,150, Krest said. The cost of food for the program is budgeted at $1,000. 

“The 200K More Reasons grant will go toward meeting most of the budgetary needs for Literacy for Lincoln Schools ministry, but it also may help us expand the ministry because the Morrow United Methodist Church congregation is prepared to fund this, with or without other funding sources. 

“Morrow is in a two-church charge with Central United Methodist Church in Lincoln,” said Krest. “Since both are within the Lincoln School District, Morrow provides funding while Central provides volunteers.”

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