Volunteers sought for challenged school: ‘it takes a community’


Endeavour Elementary School principal Rachad Wilson, left, pastor of impact Rev. Rich Lively and community school director Michele Scott asked Church at Viera congregation members July 24 to volunteer to help the Cocoa students learn.

photo by Linda Wiggins

Retirees and others with time to spare in the afternoons can make a difference in a child’s life forever and the community through a new concept. The window of time is elementary school and the place is Endeavour in Cocoa, the most challenged school and surrounding community on the Space Coast.

“There are trajectories that show the number of prison beds that will be needed based on reading scores in the third grade,” Rev. Rich Lively told members of the nondenominational Church at Viera July 24. He is the “pastor of impact in the community and around the world” for the church, which claims members in the thousands. 

“We want to see lives transformed. It’s not just about reading and writing,” he added.

Lively and youth pastor John Leathers adopted the school based on the recent challenge by senior pastor Rev. Mark Ragsdale to “sow seeds” of God-ness in the community. Endeavour principal Rachad Wilson and community school program director Michele Scott made the case to the congregation for their investment of time and resources through a new concept rolling out this month.

“We will be the first (public) community school, which means we eliminate barriers to learning and bring all the resources families need, to be delivered at the school — medical, dental, therapies, even education for parents — so a child can spend more time in school learning. We are a pilot school and can share this success with other challenged areas around the state and nation,” Wilson said.

Scott works for Children’s Home Society, which along with Brevard Health Alliance, the University of Central Florida, the City of Cocoa and Eastern Florida State College are partnering with Brevard Public Schools to focus on the “whole child” approach to education.

“The Bible shows us the importance of giving even a small amount. The ‘widow’s mite’ wasn’t much but it was all she had and whatever you give will matter,” Wilson said. 

All Endeavour students get free afterschool education. The greatest need is for volunteers to read aloud with children so they can hear how the written word sounds, but mentors for other core topics and electives are needed. 

For more information or to download a brochure, go to http://bit.ly/2anOD2i or call Scott at 321-752-3170. 

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