Covenant Community Services CEO, Randy Martin, recently spoke to teachers and staff at the South Fork Union School District about the population of children they are teaching. The audience was surprised and appalled to hear the child abuse rates in their area. According to the Kern County Network for Children's Report Card 2008, the South Fork region (Weldon, South Lake, Onyx) has the 2nd highest rate per capita for child abuse and neglect. This means there is an extreme at-risk population that needs to be reached. Statistics show that children with grade-level reading capabilities stand a better chance of overcoming their "at-risk" status.
Covenant organized a small book drive that would enable each child in the elementary school to receive one book. However, because of the generosity of Covenant supporters, 601 books were collected and delivered to the children in grades K-4th. A special assembly was organized by Principal Robin Shive, and each child had the opportunity to sort through the books and pick out 4 that they would like to take home. Two members of the Covenant staff attended the assembly, and shared with the children the purpose of Covenant—to provide hope and love to children in need. The children were extremely excited to receive books. With smiles on their faces, and anticipation in the air, children explored the many books and chose stories they were excited to read. And, in addition to a huge “thank you!” yelled out by all the students, several students individually offered heart-felt thanks.
Principal Robin Shive expressed her immense gratitude and shared how these books will make a huge difference in not only in academics, but in home-life as well. Covenant continues to provide hope and love to children who are abused or at-risk; book drives, summer camps and birthday parties are the expression of that hope and love. For more information on how you can get involved contact Covenant at 661.326.8304.
Covenant Community Services is a faith-based, nonprofit organization serving the public through various social services including: foster care placement, transitional housing, mentoring, mental health and family preservation services. Contact information: http://www.covenantcs.net/ or 661/326-8304.