Read to Lead Academy Highlight:
Ms. Kiesha's Story
Being employed at the Bethlehem Center has allowed me
to have a positive impact on the children that are enrolled
in the Read to Lead program, which is something that I
never knew I was capable of doing.
When I found out I would be working with the younger
kids, I was kind of nervous because I’m not a teacher and
certainly never considered myself to be one. I am a
single parent of three, and I grew up/live in the same
neighborhood as the children who attend the program so I
didn’t even see myself as role model.
The night before the program was set to begin, I
wondered how I would be able to connect with the
children. I was clueless. While on YouTube, I ran across
an inspiring video from a Gap commercial which aired in
2017. It was a clip of a third grade teacher, who taught
her class a mantra titled “Push Through". It was about
how to rise above and persevere through adversity. I
watched the video repeatedly because I wanted my three
kids to learn it. But then something happened. I realized
that my connection would be that I am a parent and these
students would become my kids too.
And when you are a parent, you always have your children's
best interest at heart. This was something that they needed to
hear. The program began, weeks passed, and the students
learned the mantra.
To see and hear them recite this mantra is… amazing! At the
end of the mantra I usually say, “Well I don’t believe you
because I can’t hear you” but yesterday, I didn’t say it. You
know what happened? They asked me did I believe them. I
jokingly said no and in the loudest voice ever, they repeated
the mantra with the cutest facial expression, determined to
prove to me that they can “Push Through”.
Kiesha is an after-school teacher for the Bethlehem Center's Read to Lead Academy. She loves teaching the first grade class which includes her daughter, Taylor. Kiesha is currently a student at UTC and is working on a Criminal Justice degree. The Beth is blessed to have a dedicated and loving teacher like Keisha on our team!