It's been a cold, wet start to the year in Lake Providence. Towns throughout the Louisiana Delta have suffered from water problems due to aging infrastructure and strapped municipal budgets. High school students in Lake Providence missed an entire week of school due to heating issues related to the school's boiler system. Neighboring towns declared states of emergency as days and weeks went by with severely limited access to clean water.
After a rough beginning, though, things seem to be getting back on track. Many local Lake Providence adults have started their adventure in the Licensed Practical Nursing program at the community college. Many community partners, including Together for Hope, are working together to assist them on their eighteen month program. The branch of the college in town offers a very small number of programs, and programs like Practical Nursing can only be started once every year and a half. When that window of opportunity closes, adult learners have few other options to pursue a college or vocational/technical education. Please be in prayer for these students as they work hard to achieve their goals and begin building a better future for themselves and their families.
Along these same lines, Together for Hope continues to push toward creating educational opportunities for local residents. I'm currently working with a local organization to provide additional tutoring for any nursing students who may need extra help with math. Also, a local resident, not in the nursing program, approached me recently to seek help with reading. This individual - in her late 30s - isn't able to read at all. Through the Learning Center, I'll be working with a local tutor and with this individual as she pushes toward her goal of learning to read. Likewise, the GED courses are continuing with a new group of students. They're working very hard and starting to take (and pass) the five subtests that they have to complete in order to earn their diploma. We celebrate with our first graduate of 2018, LaTonya, who finished in January.
Lastly, the local public high school has been richly blessed to have a new teacher, Patrick Neeley - a long time friend of Together for Hope and gifted artist - who is teaching art classes at the school. His fellow teacher (and fiance), Liz Henke, continues to work with the Art Club. Through Together for Hope, these students have access to art supplies (e.g., modeling clay, water colors, pastels) that the school would otherwise not be able to provide.
Thank you for your continued prayers and gifts!