Opportunity of a Lifetime by Michelle Humble & Karla Dennis

I will never forget the summer I worked with young children. It was harder work than, up to that point, I had ever done in my life. Being responsible for another human being can be overwhelming, especially when these humans are barely capable of caring for themselves. I remember telling a friend of mine after my summer leading the kindergarten room, “I am just not cut out to work with kids. It takes a special person and its just not me.” The irony in that statement years later still rings in my ears. I went on to help Tiqvah get off the ground, serve as  a children’s ministry director for five years, and substitute teach in Canton City Schools and Strasburg Local. You see, when working with kids was just a job to me, it was draining and overwhelming work. What allowed me to grow into years and years of working with children was putting on a different set of glasses. I didn’t have a job, I had an opportunity. I wasn’t just responsible for kids, I was gifted time and moments with them. Working with children doesn’t demand a special person, just a special way of seeing the work. Anyone can don these lenses. Anyone can learn the ins and outs of working with children, even children who’s lives you cannot relate to. But it is TOUGH work to wear new glasses. We are currently looking for some folks who are looking to see the opportunity in front of them to impact kids in their community.

We are hiring team leaders for the coming school year. Team leaders are not teachers. They are not parents, they are adults who love them, lead them, and demonstrate care for others.  A team leader is one who will spend the time to know a child and what makes them tick. Creating an environment and atmosphere of trust and respect will be a huge priority for the team leader.  What makes our program unique is the relationship we encourage our team leaders to have with their students. We keep our ratios low and offer opportunities for our kids and staff to know each other well. A team leader will also need to invest spiritually in the lives of their students. They will lead small group discussions and teach lessons about character from scripture. These people are the heart of our program. Without them, we would not be hands of HOPE. I guess more accurately, they are the outstretched HANDS. If this sounds appealing or strikes your interest, here are some important details to note:

  • Team Leaders work 26-30hrs a week
  • Requires good initiative, organizational, communication, & time management skills.
  • Visits to schools, calls and visits to parents, and van driving included in tasks. 
  • Hours of work will be mostly afternoon/evenings (after school) 
  • Must be willing to work as a team with other leaders and staff. 
  • Must be a Christ follower and active participant in personal spiritual development. 

We hope someone reading this will be inspired to take this opportunity and impact the life of a child. For more information, click the link below. It will send your information directly to Ms. Karla Dennis, our site director, to contact you with details.

 

Ms. Karla and her yellow team girls from when she was a team leader. She now holds the role of Site Director

Ms. Karla and her yellow team girls from when she was a team leader. She now holds the role of Site Director

Partnership by Lesley Doan

Partnership. What does that word mean to you? According to Wikipedia, “a partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership may be individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments or combinations.” To advance their mutual interests, to be working towards the same goal or end result. 

This year at Tiqvah we have two new partnerships that have started to grow. Two men who are hitting the pavement and truly trying to make a change and difference in Canton Ohio. These two men go strong all day long and are always focused on the end result…to make our city and the people who live here better. 

The first partner is Officer Lamar Sharpe. His name seemed to keep coming up last summer and so we invited him to help us welcome our students on our first day of programing as they got off the bus. Our students were excited to see him and were familiar with him from their schools and neighborhoods. Since then Officer Sharpe has not been a stranger to Tiqvah. He helped connect us with CSE Federal Credit Union who provided our Jr. High students with new bicycles. When he needed a space for his Be A Better Me Foundation Mentoring Group we helped him connect with Christ Presbyterian and found him space. He spoke at our Evening of Hope fundraiser and even invited our boys to be part in one of his mentoring group sessions with Mike Rowe from the show “Dirty Jobs”. When we attended his fundraiser event he took time introduce us to the attendees. Officer Sharpe is a great man who is doing great things in Canton and we are blessed to have him on our team! 

The second partner new to Tiqvah this year is Kelly “Prodigal Son” Williams. I first met Mr. Kelly at an event where our organizations were sharing information and his students were performing. From there, Mr. Kelly came out to Tiqvah and did a mentoring group in the fall for our Jr. High boys. As a local artist and performer, we weren’t ready to say goodbye to Mr. Kelly! We have some students at Tiqvah who love to perform and we knew having Mr. Kelly around could spark the creativity in those students. Through the winter and spring Mr. Kelly worked with our younger students as well as the Jr. High boys and both groups were able to perform at our Evening of Hope Celebration. Mr. Kelly was also our MC for the Evening of Hope Celebration and we are so gracious for the energy he brought to the event. This summer Mr. Kelly is working with a group of our students weekly on a few songs for the 2019 Stellar Awards. This is very exciting for our students and something they would not experience without our partnership with Mr. Kelly. Along with mentoring young musicians and producers Mr. Kelly speaks to ex convicts and helps them as they reenter into society. Mr. Kelly is a wonderful man who is also doing great things in Canton and we are blessed to have him on our team as well!

Both Officer Sharpe and Mr. Kelly have their own organizations and yet they see the big picture and they see that together we can make a bigger impact. Together we are advancing our mutual interests and working for the common goal to make a difference in Canton Ohio. We want to be the change! In Mathew (9:37-38) Jesus told his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into the field.” This is our prayer, that God will send more workers into this mission field of Canton, Ohio. There are so many ways to get involved and the mission field is here and now. We would love to get you connected so that you can start using your gifts and talents to further the kingdom of God. At Tiqvah we have individuals who volunteer their time and work with some of our students weekly. We also have individuals who get a group of friends or co workers together and make and serve our students dinner. Still others donate financially to help our program be sustainable. The possibilities to get connected are endless. Help us be the change, help us positively impact the children of Canton by reaching the whole child- body, mind and soul. Together as partners we can do this! 

Please click below to sign up to volunteer and receive more information. 

Summer Together by Karla Dennis

Everyone’s favorite season is upon us! Summertime - of lazy days and fun adventures. We love summertime at Tiqvah. We have programming two days a week full of outdoor fun, group time, chapel, and even Performing Arts with Mr. Kelly.  One whole day a week is all about field trips!  We load up those vans and head out to an adventure! We went to Boettler Park yesterday and had a blast! The weather was perfect and the kids were excited to have the whole day playing outside. After we went on a bear hunt in the woods and ate our lunch, we spent the afternoon playing on their extensive playground. I was lucky enough to witness a new friendship blossom, a deep and genuine conversation between a child and one of our volunteers, one of our kids helping a child from another group there, and countless other snapshot moments of pure joy.  What is most pleasing is how at the end of the day the staff and volunteers are just as exhausted as the kids - because we play just as hard! I love that about our Tiqvah adults and their Tiqvah hearts! Summertime at Tiqvah is a little more slow paced and a little less structured which makes it a perfect environment to deepen the relationships between the kids and the adults. 

Relationships are at the core of who we are at Tiqvah. Relationships allow hope for a future to flourish. They encourage perseverance and growth. The best part is, both the student and adult generally experience these wonderful side effects. The impact is mutual. As our summer programming for kids kicked off, our parent group gathered to celebrate a student turned volunteer who graduated high school a few weeks ago. Sa'Mariyah will be heading to college in the fall and we wanted to celebrate these exciting happenings with her. That is what family does. We share wins and push one another on to more. The Tiqvah family is no different. Congratulations Sa'Mariyah! We are rooting for you! 

I Am Third by Karla Dennis

This past week we had our 4th Annual Tiqvah Olympics!  Tiqvah Olympics are high energy and tons of fun. The kids are mixed up randomly into two teams; The Rebels, who are led by this verse in Matthew (7:13) “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” and The Transformers follow Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”.

Tiqvah Olympics is a week of friendly competitions, all for His glory.  Our underlying theme or rule is simple: “I’m third.”  (God is first, others second and I’m third.)  Teaching the children to compete with an “I’m third” attitude, then watching them model it successfully is quite spectacular. We witnessed kids rooting on friends on the opposite team.  We saw a team that lost a competition, praise and clap for the winning team. We saw teams lose with grace and teams win with grace.  

When a leader witnessed an “I’m third” attitude, a ticket corresponding to the team’s color went into the bin. A ticket also went into the bin for the winning team of each competition…..and there were loads of competitions! As I write this, I do not yet know which is the winning team.  We will dump out the bin and count up the tickets on Tuesday and announce the winners before our surprise dance party! 😉

At the end of our Tiqvah day Thursday, the children were excused to go outside without their book bags….. they were confused as this is not how we dismiss! The surprise and reward for such a great week waiting for them was an ice cream truck!! The squeals and excitement could be heard the whole city block! 

The Tiqvah Olympics, the ice cream truck, and frankly, our whole year of programming could not have been possible without all the awesome, loving and selfless volunteers! Though the children enjoyed the ice cream truck immensely, it was hired to come as a treat to our volunteers as well. Before it arrived we shared a dinner with them and several students recited a lovely poem thanking them for all they do.  We are so blessed to have each of you on our team! Thank you for practicing the "I am third" attitude as a volunteer at Tiqvah. 

 

Teachers by Lesley Doan

Teacher

You’re the heart of every class room

The soul of every school.

The mind behind the message

That learning is cool.

Your patience and understanding

Cannot be undersold.

Your courage and commitment

Is that of legends told.

Each day you teach our children

Is a day to rejoice.

Because of you our children,

Will have their own voice.

So Thank You Dear Teacher

For passing knowledge

Through the years.

You thought you were merely teaching,

When you were eliminating fears.

Thank You!

 

We found this poem online with no known author, but we felt it put our appreciation for teachers into words nicely. It would be our hope that everyone has a teacher they remember; someone who went out of their way to make you feel special. Tomorrow is Teacher Appreciation Day and even though we appreciate our teachers all year long, we want to say a special thank you today. Our Tiqvah students have teachers at school who take time to communicate with us at Tiqvah and together we get to help each and every student who enters our program. To each and every teacher out there…THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Please continue to show up everyday for our kids, support and love them! We appreciate you today and everyday!

 

Staff Spotlight: Lesley Doan, Executive Director

Executive directors don't grow on trees. When Ms. Sarah, our founder and first executive director,  decided to retire, the task of finding a new executive director seemed too large and overwhelming to accomplish. As you will read below, Lesley Doan was available at just the right time for this big and exciting job. Want to witness first hand someone's journey of growing to love this program? You're in luck! This read is one that will help you see just why we ALL can not resist being connected at Tiqvah. 

How did you get started with Tiqvah? 

I heard about Tiqvah through RiverTree Jackson Church and a good friend of mine, Julie Gonzalez. My family was in a Go Community with Julie’s family and we were invited to serve at Tiqvah. I heard more about Tiqvah in October 2016 when Julie approached me about the possibility of Executive Director position opening up. I was 8 months pregnant at the time with my 4th child and I had no idea what God was calling me to do. To me it didn’t appear to be the correct time but He opened doors and tore down my barriers. I then attended the Celebration of Hope shortly after my son was born and I had some tears sitting there, God was moving in my heart. My first volunteer experience was at the Christmas Family Dinner that following month. My whole family (3 older kids and husband) helped serve food to all the Tiqvah kids and families. We had a great experience and God continued to pull on my heartstrings. I then interviewed for the Executive Director position and in February of 2017 the Board hired me as the new ED. 

 What do you do now for Tiqvah? 

My current role at Tiqvah is Executive Director. As the Executive Director I am responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of Tiqvah. My other duties include fundraising, marketing, community outreach, and collaborating with the Board of Directors.

What is your favorite part of the Tiqvah day and why?

Everything about Tiqvah excites me! I really enjoy spending time at Tiqvah. My favorite time is when a student wants to just sit and chat. I try to get into the classrooms and so helping with homework makes my "teacher heart” happy. I also love seeing kids interact and have fun in chapel and dinner time is the best! At dinner we hang out and talk about our days. Kids are so fun to just sit and talk with. There are often times when their stories break my heart but it allows me to personally pray for them. It’s clearly hard for me to narrow it down to just one thing. The better question for me is, what’s the favorite part of your Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday? My answer would be TIQVAH ;-) 

 What motivates you to keep going on tough days?

My motivation to be at Tiqvah is the kids! As the Executive Director there are times when I get frustrated and hear the word “no” too many times but I walk into Tiqvah during programing and I’m reminded why I do what I do…the kids! God uses the kids to show me that he has a plan and it’s our job at Tiqvah to be a light to these kids.  

What is one thing you wish people knew about Tiqvah?

I wish that everyone knew that Tiqvah was more than an after school program or a babysitter. We are so much more!! We are a second family to most of our kids. We get to show them love, we get to share God with them, we get to be their safe place, we get to help them with their school work, we get to expose them to enrichment opportunities, we get to fill their bellies, we get to show them that they have meaning and that they can have hope for a brighter tomorrow. 

What is one thing the kids would say if we asked them to tell us about you?

To be honest I wasn’t really sure so I asked a few girls who were taking a break/deescalating in my office today. They said that I’m kind, loving, funny and that I give them joy. Hey, I’ll take it! My number one goal is to show our Tiqvah kids God’s love through my actions and words. For them to say that I’m kind, loving and joyful makes me feel like God is truly using me.

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Memorable Moments

As a kid I made many lasting memories. Some of the most fond were of pretty typical events. Happenings that took place like clock work. Dependable moments that my family and friends built in to my life. Often times with children, simple is more lasting and impactful than something extravagant. I remember the times of being taken to the store or consignment shop for my school clothes and getting to try on and model my new finds. Pizza Hut always had a good report card program for kids where you could bring in a good grade and get a free personal pan pizza! Simple joys but memorable none the less. 

One of the things we at Tiqvah have been able to do over the years is establish moments like this for our families. We know that it isn’t always easy to provide these resources for our loved ones, sometimes life gets in the way. We strive to remove as many roadblocks as possible for our families, to not just have the stuff they need but the experience to go along with it. Its one thing to shop for clothes, its another to feel loved in the process. 

For eight years (16 boutique events) our friend Ms. Teri has organized and executed the most amazing shopping events for our families. With her crew of volunteers and donors, our space becomes a well stocked store with clothing, stuffed animals, accessories, swim gear, coats, dresses, and shoes. Our kids go from table to table searching through the piles for something that fits them just right. Our girls show off dresses they found that fit perfectly and our boys brag about which new team jersey or pair of nike shoes they found. Our parents show up with lists of sizes for siblings, cousins, and friends. It is a joy to watch as needs are met and memories made. This event has become an irreplaceable part of our Tiqvah calendar and of our families’ lives. We are so grateful to have friends who make it all happen. 

The celebration continued this week for our kids who achieved success in the classroom. During our most recent staff meeting as we discussed which students were eligible this semester we realized that this may be the highest attended report card trip we have ever had in the spring. Spring time can be difficult for our students as the curriculum advances and those who were keeping pace before begin to fall behind. Even with our help, keeping up with the challenges can be difficult. This spring our students have shown us that they are determined to keep growing and learning despite challenges and we took them bowling to celebrate!

We had not really gone bowling with the kids before, and seeing as it was a student suggestion, we tried it out. Our kids LOVED it. We had the bumpers up to ensure our students experienced success in this new sport. Some friendly competitions between volunteers and students developed and many laughs ensued. Dinner and and dessert wrapped up an already fun evening. What a great way to celebrate our student's success! 

Thank you all for your prayers and support as we continue to impact our kids lives body, mind, and soul. We love making memories with our families and are grateful you all help make it happen.

Volunteer Spotlight by Karla Dennis

This week we had the pleasure of hosting 12 awesome 8th graders as they helped us out in the classrooms and built relationships with our kiddos. This is the 4th year that our friends at Lighthouse Ministries sent us Alex Steiner and his team of middle school kids from Central Christian School in Kidron.  It is always such a blessing to have them amongst us.  Watching friendships blossom and witnessing the serving hearts of these young people is such a joy. 

There seemed to be a full hair salon going on in the 3rd grade room!  Our kids loved doing the hair of their new friends. This was after all homework was done, of course!  Marviaire (5th grade) enjoyed being challenged by Mr. Alex with math problems.  He was so proud to inform us that he was doing 7th grade math and couldn’t get enough! Our 1st and 2nd graders soaked up the love while being read to, playing and creating. 

We had far fewer behavior referrals this week, and I am certain it was because of all the one-on-one time our friends helped us to provide.

These incredible students remind us how much of an impact your volunteer hours have on our kids. If volunteering is something that interests you, we’d love to have you at our volunteer training coming up April 2nd at 6pm. You too could help a student achieve new goals academically, help a child create a piece of art, or encourage confidence and leadership in a student. To let us know you are coming to training just click below. Hope to see you there! 

Evening of Hope 2018

I would just like to say that Saturday evening was nothing short of amazing!!

When preparing for our Evening of Hope this year I presented the fundraising committee with a new idea. We were going to have table sponsors who cover the cost of dinner for everyone and we were going to have hosts who would invite their friends to attend our event for free (we've always charged in the past). They may have looked at me like I was crazy but they accepted the challenge. We had 29 tables fully sponsored and committed hosts who filled the seats!

Our Tiqvah kids prepared to share their gift of dance and they did a fantastic job. We invited three speakers who had stories of safety, success and hope. During those speeches there were smiles and tears but they shared their hearts and love for Tiqvah and it showed. Our MC kept the atmosphere light and our guests well informed. Everything moved smoothly and the support was overwhelming!

I was able to challenge our guests to make the next step to not only get connected but to stay involved and they did! We were able to bring a little bit of Tiqvah to everyone on Saturday and it was simply amazing.

A special thank you to all those who made the night possible...Tiqvah staff, volunteers, board members, table hosts, table sponsors and our event sponsors. For all those who attended and supported us, thank you as well!! We really can't thank you all enough for allowing us to share about Tiqvah, THANK YOU!!

Here are a few moments from Tiqvah - Evening of Hope 2018...enjoy!

Blessings,

Lesley Doan - Executive Director 

Success

What do you want to be when you grow up? A pretty standard question when interacting with a child. There is nothing more exciting than talking to kids about what they see for their future. As adults we know that these goals often require a plan of attack. Study hard, save up money, job shadow, build a resume, and the list goes on. These all seem like pretty standard steps to take, but often times require a resource that goes overlooked. Support. I am not sure I could have made it through that whole process if not for the support of my family, friends, mentors, and teachers. 

For our kiddos, that support system sometimes needs some extra layers. Our families work so hard and often times still come up short for what some goals require. At Tiqvah, we want to be another resource to help them achieve success in all they do. School is just the beginning. Our vision says “...success in school AND IN LIFE.” We measure success with a bigger yardstick than a diploma. We want our kids to dream big and to know that there is more to their future than a high paying job. They can give back to their community, have a family of their own, demonstrate character in all they do, and love their neighbor as themselves. 

Success is bigger than their job; it’s who they become. How are we supporting our kids as they are molded and shaped into the adults they will become? What examples are we providing for them to model? This is all part of the success of our students. We provide team leaders who help with homework, provide educational games and challenges, and check in regularly with their parents and teachers. These same team leaders also pray for their kids, talk one on one after a tough day, model love and kindness for others, and offer correction when boundaries are crossed. This support both educationally and emotionally will prayerfully guide our kids to success in life. 

Want to learn more? Want to see this in action? One week from today our kids will be the feature presentation at our Evening of Hope. We would love for you to join us, support the work we are doing, and enjoy seeing our kids talent on display. 

To RSVP by Monday, click below! 

Safety

When you think of safety, there are some typical things that come to mind. A vault, security system, armed guards, locks, or a seat belt. In a world where safety is harder to come by, we believe wholeheartedly that it is of the utmost value to provide a safe place for our kids to the best of our ability. But safety doesn’t always look as described above. Physical safety is only one piece to a much larger and more complex puzzle. Safety is something we need emotionally and socially as well. 

This month our students are talking about kindness. This topic was already planned out before we knew how much our students would need reminded that treating others the way you want to be treated can not only help someone out but change someone’s life. This month’s topic coordinated nicely with the anti-bullying rally our students attended, put on by officer Lamar Sharpe, one of our speakers at our upcoming Evening of Hope. As they learned about the importance of treating others kindly and how it impacts their safety, suddenly the dots connected. Safety has to do with protecting our hearts not just our bodies. 

Our site director Ms. Karla walked room to room to talk to the students about bullying and recap what they had learned this month about kindness. One of our students proudly exclaimed,“It is up to us kids to keep all of our hearts safe by being kind.”

We are not always available to protect our students. Sometimes bad things happen at home, at school, or even with friends. At Tiqvah however, we will do our best to protect our kids’ hearts and promote safety. If you want to hear more about what that looks like consider coming to our Evening of Hope March 10th. More information and a link to reserve your spot can be found below. We hope to see you there!

Staff Spotlight: Trevon Fields

With a mission to impact the lives of children body, mind, and soul; we had better have some incredible tools to make that possible. We have things like iPads, school supplies, books, and of course a stellar group of volunteers. One of our most prized resources to accomplish our big goal is our staff. They are all different and have strengths in various areas, but all of them love God and love our kids. Today, find out a little more about our fantastic Mr. Tre, the yellow team leader. The yellow team are our youngest students coming in at first and second grade. Tre does an incredible job at introducing them to Tiqvah. Here is a little more information about Mr. Tre in his own words:

1. How did you get started with Tiqvah? 

A good friend of mine, Darryl, introduced me to them in the summer of 2017. It's something that I've been wanting to get involved with and also have a program of my own someday.

2. What do you do now for Tiqvah? 

I'm the 1st & 2nd grade Team leader

3. What is your favorite part of the Tiqvah day and why?

The start of the day, I believe, because that's when my excitement goes up; when I see all the kids coming into class happy and excited to show off their toy or just tell a story. The stories are pretty silly most the time. 

4. What motivates you to keep going on tough days?

It being bigger than me. It's not my feelings that matter much at the end of the day, so remembering what my job stands for and who we do it for. 

5. What is one thing you wish people knew about Tiqvah?

That all of our staff genuinely love and care for our kids and the amount of time we spend building relationships with each of them.

6. What is one thing the kids would say if we asked them to tell us about you? 

They would say I LOVE the Pittsburgh Steelers!!

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Stretching Our Impact by Michelle Humble

As a new mom, I am beginning to appreciate the unique need of having other moms in my life. Aside from the obvious questions and concerns we parents have, there are experiences that are sweetest when shared. I have been fortunate enough to have friends and groups to be a part of that have provided this support on my journey, and still find myself often times feeling like I need more. 

Our parents at Tiqvah are no different. They too want someone to celebrate their wins with. Questions are often heavy on their minds. Concern for their child’s well being and future need a place to be shared and heard. When we began Tiqvah eight years ago, it became clear that this was a need for our families. We began having dinners twice a year (which are still highly anticipated events on our Tiqvah calendar) for our families to come, see, and celebrate their child with other parents. As we saw relationships form and parents enjoying this time, we hatched the idea to have a group that meets more frequently. Over the years this group has changed and grown as the program has. But one thing remains the same, we provide a resource for our parents to come and know other parents, be encouraged, and know they have support at Tiqvah. As leaders, we know our impact is greater when we not only provide opportunities for our kids, but for their whole family. After all, the loudest voice in a kid’s life is their parent. Why compete when you can join the conversation?!

Some of the resources we provide through this program, lead by our founder Sarah Kropf, are special mom nights for self care, parenting discussions, dinners, and field trips for the family. This last get together we enjoyed an American themed dinner (we started doing themed dinners this year) featuring a beef roast, pizza, and baked potatoes. To counter our heavy meal options we discussed relaxation and health. The theme for the month was commitment. We discussed committing to healthy choices as a family, how we treat one another and our bodies. Concerns were shared about bullying and whether or not our kids are safe in their many environments. Ideas were shared on how to stay strong in teaching our children to care for others. We all agree this is important for our families as well as our Tiqvah family. We finished off the evening with yoga and stretching for the whole family. As we talked about how stretching can extend your life by five years and reduce anxiety, our moms became even more excited to learn the stretches.

To protect all of our participants (including myself) from the embarrassment photos online can bring; the photos below are from November’s group meeting where they made home decor with encouraging words, received massages, and shared a meal together. To all of you who help make these nights possible through your donations at our Celebration of Hope, THANK YOU!! We are so excited to be able to come alongside our families as we continue to impact the children of Canton!

Good grades, good times! by Karla Dennis

Yesterday was our elementary age Report Card Field Trip.  What does that look like exactly? That means that the children who have excelled at school with good marks on their report cards were rewarded with two games of Laser Tag and CiCi’s Pizza! We had 30 students earn the trip this time, which is about 80% of our kiddos!  The kids had a blast, but the Team Leaders were all smiles as well! The staff work hard to help the kids with their homework, but that is only a small piece of how we offer the children educational support. 

We have team leaders that volunteer in the schools; in the classrooms, in the cafeteria, even on the playground to learn as much as they can about our students and their days at school.  Our staff are often texting parents, teachers, intervention specialists, and principals to best support each child. The more we know, the more we can help. Not to mention our volunteers, they are such blessings as they often allow for one-on-one help during homework time. 

Then, when the report cards come out, we are as excited as the children themselves! Helping these children to reach academic success is something we know to be very powerful.  It offers hope.  It offers an opportunity to feel achievement. It challenges their norm. We definitely want to celebrate that! 

So we load up our fleet, lovingly known as Big Red, Pearl and Papa Smurf and we set off for an adventure….Tiqvah Style!

Evening of Hope Update by Lesley Doan

It's hard to believe our big fundraiser dinner, Evening of Hope, is right around the corner! This year we would like to invite you to RSVP using our website (www.tiqvah.org/events). An exciting twist; your RSVP is free! Dinner will be provided through private sponsorship of each table. As usual, there will be opportunities for you to contribute financially to the mission of Tiqvah throughout the evening. 

We realize many of our readers are long time friends of our program. You may read the above information and feel compelled to take your next steps into your support of our program. There are two great ways for you to get involved. The first would be the role of table sponsor, someone who contributes $300 so that the meal is covered for each guest at the table. Another role to step into would be table host. This person commits to filling a table of seven guests through inviting friends, neighbors, co workers, or family. The key to being a table host is finding folks who may not know about us but would like to know more about our mission. 

Our goal this year at our event is to fill the room. We would love to have 200 people in attendance. If you are unfamiliar with Tiqvah but want to learn more, I encourage you to come out, hear about the safety, success, and hope our students experience because of Tiqvah. If you are already a supporter, I encourage you to take your next step. You could invite a friend to join you or become a private table sponsor or host. 

This year's speaking line up is one that you will not want to miss. Joining us at the microphone that evening will be Canton City Police Officer and founder of Be a Better Me Foundation, Lamar Sharpe. You will also hear from a Tiqvah "graduate" and volunteer, Rosie Jones. And of course you will get to see the smiling faces of our Tiqvah students. They are already working on their performances. You won't want to miss this year's incredible event! 

Staff Spotlight: Tig Held

Welcome to the new year! 2018 is off to a great start at Tiqvah. Programming started back up this cold blustery week and we were thrilled to see our kiddos after a long break. Keep checking back here at the blog to see updates on the many fun things coming up in our Tiqvah family. To get the blog ball rolling this new year, we are doing another staff spotlight. Keep reading to get to know our fantastic green team leader, Ms. Tig. 

  1. How did you get started in Tiqvah? I started volunteering last February one day a week. I really enjoyed working with the kids and my days turned into two or three times a week. I became “hooked” with the program in no time.

  2. What do you do now at Tiqvah? I am currently the team leader for the green room with our 3rd graders.

  3. What is your favorite part of your Tiqvah day? Why? One of my favorite parts is when they first enter the room for the start of the day and say, “Hi Miss Tig!" That simple smile of joy as we start the day and asking me what will be on the schedule for Tiqvah.

  4. What motivates you to keep going on tough days? The bottom line of knowing that Tiqvah is a second family for our kids and they are safe. They are part of a program that gives them hope when having a bad day or tough times, and love when they need nurturing and encouragement. 

  5. What is one thing you wish people knew about Tiqvah? When they hear the name Tiqvah the first thing that should pop in their head is LOVE. Love of God we share with our kids and the amount of love we have for our kids/families involved with Tiqvah.

  6. If we asked the kids to tell us something about you, what would they say? I have a phrase that I say, “I wasn’t born yesterday”. It is true! They can recite it when I have that look on my face because I have heard of something they don’t think I know anything about.

Thanks for learning a little more about Tiqvah and our incredible green team leader Ms. Tig. If you learned nothing else, remember what Ms. Tig would love for you to know about us; our love. 

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Merry Christmas

What an incredible month we have had here at Tiqvah Hands of Hope! We love our kids and we especially love seeing the wonder in their eyes during all of the holiday merriment that this time of year brings. There are few things that top it. One things that comes close is seeing our volunteers, donors, and other friends of Tiqvah participate and share in those wonderful moments. This post will highlight a few of the MANY moments we have been able to celebrate with our friends and students. 

1. Celebration of Hope

It was a gloomy, rainy Saturday morning but the atmosphere inside the Glenmoor Chapel was far from gloomy. With smiling faces and happy hearts the staff and students from Tiqvah shared about what Tiqvah really means to them. Ms Karla interviewed students and my favorite question was “Our name is Tiqvah Hands of Hope, hope, what does hope mean to you?”

  • Tamara, 3rd grade - “I will be safe and loved.”
  • Tezzy, 6th grade - “Keeping us off the streets.”

Ms. Ashley also shared her dream for Tiqvah and it is one that we all hope for. In the near future we would love to have full-time staff so that our team leaders can spend more time in the schools and in homes. We love being part of the triangle of support each child deserves; school, home and Tiqvah. 

With the support from all who attended we will be able to continue growing. We had:

  • 10 months of Parents Group sponsored
  • 11 individuals contributed to our Basic Needs fund
  • 3 individuals helped us with our transportation funds
  • 7 NEW Student Sponsorships!

2. Elf Shop and Family Dinner

December 12th we had a lovely dinner where students received a small gift and a visit from Mrs Claus! This special time was so graciously provided by the staff at Brechbuhler Scales Inc. The kids worked up an appetite by shopping in our first Elf Shop. Several gracious individuals who are friends of Tiqvah put together an incredible room of small gifts for our students to shop for their families.  They made the whole experience amazing for our students, from a room full of Holiday Joy to a gift wrapping stations, it was simply wonderful!

The next day was our last day of programming before Christmas break and a well loved tradition, our Family Dinner. Parents and relatives flooded in around 6pm to enjoy a delicious dinner put on by some friends from Aultman. Dinner featured hams provided by FreshMark, salad, corn, beans, mashed potatoes, bread, and of course a wide assortment of Christmas cookies! Some of our students got to show off their dance skills. Our Jr. High boys received certificates for completing their mentorship program with Mr. Kelly Williams and HOLYwood Records, where they learned practical life skills and wise decision making. Each family was sent home with a basket of goodies for the holidays including a family games, snacks, books, and other activities!

3. Staff Christmas Party

Where would we be as an organization without the incredible souls who make our program possible?! Our team leaders, directors, and food coordinator gathered December 14th to share in a time of growth and training followed by dinner and a fun evening at the local Escape Room. Though they did not make it out in time, they had great fun trying. 

As we look back on the last month, we are overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. We are grateful for each and every one of you. Those of you who donate your time or your money, those of you who take the time to pray and petition on our behalf, those of you who talk about us in the community and spread the word about the work being done...ALL of you are part of the Tiqvah family. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year! 

Go Cavs!

We have had an incredible month! Our celebration of hope went so well, we've had delightful events for our kiddos, and we have had friends bless our program in numerous ways. We are going to be spending the month sharing all about these incredible happenings here on the blog, so check back often. To get the ball rolling, here is a break down of our Cavs game trip that was so generously given to us by Aultman. Enjoy Lesley's write up of this exciting night for our boys. 

Kyzai and Karron were dropped off at Tiqvah Tuesday night, "Ms Karla we are here!! Mom said you have a surprise for us, are we going to a Sky Zone?!?"

Ms. Karla responded, "Oh boys you need to think bigger than that!!"

Super excited boys responded, "are we going to a Canton Charge game???"

"Dream BIGGER!!" Ms Karla prompted. 

The light bulb moment happened at once and both boys started jumping up and down, eyes as big as saucers and they screamed, "NO WAY!!! We're going to a Cavs game?!?"

This was just the beginning of our night on Tuesday. Thanks to Aultman we were able to take three cars full of super excited Tiqvah boys to see the Cavaliers beat Miami Heat. With four chaperones and 14 boys we made the trip to Cleveland. There was so much excitement and anticipation as we finally got to the arena. Once we got to our seats the excitement only grew. They pointed out and named each player, they were out of their seats making noises and cheering on the Cavs. It was by far one of the best nights I've had with these boys. None of our Tiqvah boys have ever been to a Cavs game nor would they probably ever get that chance. We can't thank Aultman enough for allowing us to have such a memorable moment with these boys. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! 

 

Let Your Light Shine by Karla Dennis

What a difference a little sunshine can make!  As I sit here writing, Mr. Sun has come out to play and is displaying beautiful shadows across my floor,  the plants on my windowsill and the tree in the yard.  What excellent reminders of God’s unfaltering grace.  I admit I have been a little out of sorts this past week with the time change and the lack of sunshine.  The seemingly constant rain made it difficult for me to go out for my morning walks, I missed my daily dose of vitamin D!  I countered the effects with the mindfulness techniques Miss Marcy, our  Tiqvah yoga instructor teaches us. 

So…. it was no surprise to me that our kiddos had a little bit of a rough week.  We had more tears, and more office referrals than usual. They were unable to go outside to play at school or at Tiqvah due to the rain, so we had a lot of pent up energy!  Our Team Leaders did an excellent job of being prepared and creative with extra activities that saved the days. I witnessed such patience, empathy and flexibility.  Kids were doing math with Miss Ashley in the pillow corner,  two kids were working on homework lying on my floor! We try very hard to always get all homework done to lighten that burden for the parents.  We also gather the children’s report cards from the schools so we can see in what areas they are struggling and where they may benefit from extra help.  

The children with good grades and behavior marks on their recent report cards were rewarded with a field trip on Saturday. We love to celebrate the hope that good grades offer for their futures.  We started off with some super yummy pizza at our favorite Papa Bears Pizza Oven, then onto the Malone/Walsh football game! We learned a few cheers on Thursday when our friends the Malone cheerleaders came to visit, then we got to try them out at Tom Benson Stadium.  Even though it was a cold afternoon, the children had a great time.  

It is always so good to see God’s grace show up when we need it most. Even in darkness He provides light. This season as you are looking for ways to see and celebrate hope, consider doing so with us THIS weekend at our Celebration of Hope event at Glenmoor Country Club. The link below will give you all the info you need to purchase your reservations to this incredible event where you will get a wonderful breakfast and hear about hope straight from our kiddos and staff. Click below for reservations.