Celebrating Christmas with our Kids in the Midst of COVID-19:

As the Director of Education, one of my favorite parts of my job is Christmas shopping with our kids. Every year, our Read to Lead students earn points for attendance, participation, grades, good choices, and growth. These points turn into dollars at Christmas time and we transport all of the kids to Walmart and pair them with a shopping partner (a staff member or volunteer). The shopping pair receives a gift card to make purchases of the students’ choosing. 


This year, we recognized that transporting all of our students to shop at Walmart before Christmas was simply not responsible in the midst of COVID-19. So this year, we pivoted. We offered volunteers three options: 1. Meet up with the Beth staff at Walmart in person (with masks and social distancing requirements) shop, and leave your purchases with us, 2. Pick up your student’s gift card and wish list, shop on your own, and return your purchases to the Beth, or 3. Shop virtually with an emailed wishlist and gift card number and pin, and have the purchases shipped to the Bethlehem Center.


This year we missed the kids’ energy and joy as they boarded the bus. We missed seeing the gifts for their parents and grandparents in their shopping carts. Personally, I missed seeing my son, pushing his tiny shopping buddy in a shopping cart, laughing the entire time. We missed their adorable faces at the checkout as their purchases were being bagged and labeled. We missed seeing them show their parents their purchases when they were picked up.


However we did have some pretty amazing moments this year, despite all the things we missed. We were able to include all of our virtual learning students in our Christmas shopping this year, giving joy and support to more families than ever before. We got to read dozens of adorable and precious wish lists written by all of our kids. We were able to include shoppers from out of town, who love the Beth and our kids but have not been able to participate in this amazing experience in years past. We were able to share stories about the kids with their shoppers, reminding us exactly why we love each of them so much. We were able to see the amazing generosity of shopping volunteers, wrapping volunteers, and donors, which never ceases to amaze us. 


Even with all the nasty curve balls 2020 has thrown us, this was undoubtedly our best shopping year ever. May we appreciate all of our blessings even more because of those curve balls.


Rachel DeVore

Rachel is our Director of Education here at the Bethlehem Center. She is known by our staff and the students of our Virtual Learning Center and Read To Lead Academy for big heart and her continuous devotion to the children of South Chattanooga. We are so thankful to have Rachel as a part of our team. 


Posted by The Beth

Pursuing Our Community During Thanksgiving:

Due to the current pandemic, our Community Outreach team distributed Thanksgiving boxes to our South Chattanooga community this November. The number of box recipients was roughly around 100 families! Inside each of these boxes, families received: turkeys, green beans, corn, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. Presumably, the Thanksgiving essentials to make sure they all got to celebrate this Thanksgiving season!


Let’s face it, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit our community pretty hard this year. Having to change directions and not being able to host our traditional, community Thanksgiving dinner has also been hard, as we are all longing to get back together. However, we believe our ability to deliver Thanksgiving food boxes was a huge blessing to our community and spread a sense of holiday cheer!

May we all remember everything we have to be thankful for during these trying times.


Darian Sylvester

Darian is our Community Outreach Coordinator at the Bethlehem Center. He graduated from Point Loma University in San Diego and moved to Chattanooga with his wife in the spring of 2020. He is known by our staff and community for being one of the most proactive, friendly, and hardworking members of our team. We are so thankful to have him!


Posted by The Beth | Topic: Community

New Virtual Learning Centers

November 3rd, 2020

New Virtual Learning Centers

At the beginning of October, we opened our Virtual Learning Center to provide a learning space and support for students who opted to attend school virtually this semester! Through the Virtual Learning Center, we are able to provide students with computer access to complete school work, a daily routine, and social interaction with their peers!


By opening this program, we not only serve families in the 37410 zip code with lunches, but are now able to physically host kids in our building again.  The first week went well - the kids were engaged and parents were excited to have their child back into a routine while experiencing some sense of normalcy. Our staff continuously worked to provide supervision and structure for our students throughout the day. It was very clear that the kids were benefiting from being back in a structured environment.


When asked about our new Virtual Learning Center, 7 year old, Darrian, said his favorite part was the “Beth teachers and going to play outside.” 11 year old, McKayla said it’s easier to do work here because “there are teachers who actually know about school stuff and can help me.”


Soon we will be opening a second Virtual Learning Center and Read to Lead after school program at Emma Wheeler Homes to help broaden our outreach to the community!

To register your child for our virtual learning program or Read to Lead Academy, visit www.thebeth.org



Emily May

Emily May is one of our Restore Hope Fund case managers here at the Bethlehem Center. When she's not handling cases, she works as a member of our education team. She is known by our staff and community for her friendliness and kindness. She is currently about to graduate from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with her Masters in social work. We are so lucky to have Emily!

Posted by The Beth | Topic: Community

close this layer
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
1
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
1
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
1
1
 
1
1
 
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
1
 Advanced issues found
2
1
 Advanced issues found
1
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
0
 Advanced issues found
 
 
 
2
2
2
2
0
 Advanced issue found
1
1
 Advanced issue found
1
1
0
 Advanced issue found
 
0
 Advanced issue found
 


Happy New Year!

We look forward to serving and advocating for our community this year!

Want to get involved? 


Click Here!