252-212-5044
info@rockymountpeacemakers.org

Johnny Rice

Twin Counties Youth Benefit from Peacemakers Freedom School

Peacemakers of Rocky Mount has wrapped up another successful summer of Freedom School. The summer enrichment program provided 240 children in South Rocky Mount and Tarboro the opportunity to improve reading skills and learn strategies for academic and lifelong success.

“It is hard to believe that another fantastic Freedom School summer has come and gone,” Jesse Lewis, Peacemakers Executive Director said. “Over the seven weeks of this program, pre and post test data show the reading levels of our children increased an average of 18 months this summer. This is a significant academic impact for these local children as they head into the new school year. We are deeply indebted to the incredible Freedom School staff for pouring their lives into our scholars this summer, and to all the volunteers who make it all happen.”

Freedom School utilizes a time-tested curriculum designed by the Children’s Defense Fund, helping rising first through ninth graders fall in love with reading, increasing their self-esteem, and generating more positive attitudes toward learning.

Local children are taught using a model curriculum that supports children and families around five essential components: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health. The program, like many of Peacemakers’ activities, is sponsored by a number of private foundations, government agencies, and individuals, and offers parents and family members the support and skills they need to help their children succeed.

“By the end of the summer, many children demonstrated a desire to spend time reading, when they had minimal or no desire to read at the beginning of the program,” Lewis added. Additionally, improvements were seen in self-confidence including better self-perceptions of identity, ability to succeed academically, desire for future positive growth and understanding of available career options.

Peacemakers is a Christian community development 501c3 organization located at 1725 Davis Street in Rocky Mount. Their mission is to serve the under-resourced area of South Rocky Mount, by empowering citizens with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead successful and sustainable lives. Peacemakers strives to tangibly demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ in such a way that it results ultimately in the complete transformation of the community and its people.  For more information email jesse@rockymountpeacemakers.org, call 252-212-5044 or visit www.rockymountpeacemakers.org.

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Peacemakers Announces Banquet Keynote Speaker

Peacemakers of Rocky Mount will host its annual Hope Banquet fundraiser Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 7:00 PM at Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount. Doors open at 6:30 PM.

Reverend Vann R. Ellison, president and chief executive officer of St. Matthew’s House in Naples, Florida, will be the keynote speaker. Ellison is widely known for his extensive outreach experience addressing issues related to hunger, homelessness, human trafficking, and drug addiction. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs as an expert in these areas.

Reverend Ellison is a regular online contributor and his writing has been featured in local and national media. His experience includes counseling, law enforcement chaplaincy, non-profit management, hospital administration, and youth pastor. Ellison’s career and calling allow him to counsel individuals in need of assistance through food and housing ministries, direct assistance and a recovery program at St. Matthew’s House.

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ellison attended Southeastern College in Lakeland, Florida with a major in Theology. He is an Eagle Scout and has served as scoutmaster and Chairman of the Board of the Collier County Hunger and Homeless Coalition. He lives in Naples, FL with his wife and four sons.

For $240, table sponsors will receive eight seats with dinner catered by Something Different. Individual seats are $30 each. The deadline for table sponsorship is Thursday, September 27, 2018.  For more information contact Donna Clifton at 252.212.5044 or donna@rockymountpeacemakers.org or visit rockymountpeacemakers.org

Peacemakers is a Christian non-profit organization serving South Rocky Mount with a mission to empower members of the community with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead successful and sustainable lives.

Special thanks to the following event sponsors: Taylor Financial Strategies, Pfizer, Freedom Industries, Inc., Family Medical Center, DPF Properties, Chick-fil-A, Bass Plant Farm, and Allegra.

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Peacemakers will be awarding four $1,000 college scholarships this spring

Peacemakers will be awarding four $1,000 college scholarships this spring to economically-disadvantaged students:  The Millie S. Morris Scholarship, The Joseph Timothy Willis Scholarship for Faith, Family and Future, and two Shell Rapid Lube and AutoSpa Scholarships.  Scholarship requirements and application deadlines can be found on the application form, which can be downloaded HERE.

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We have a New Playground

More than 200 volunteers from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Peacemakers of Rocky Mount, 13443320_705873159552234_5020419340806087623_oorganizers from KaBOOM! and the community joined forces Saturday to give area kids the childhood they deserve by building a new playground at Peacemakers of Rocky Mount.

The design is based on children’s drawings created at a special design event in April.

A playground serves as more than a playground — it is also a brain-expander, friend-maker and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. It can transform children from sedentary, bored and solitary to physically, mentally and socially active.

Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the goal of giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve, filled with balanced and active play so they can thrive. With its partners, KaBOOM! has built, improved and opened nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids.

The new playground at Peacemakers will bring more than 730 kids in Rocky Mount one step closer to having the play-filled childhood they deserve.There had been no playground at Peacemakers of Rocky Mount. In building this play space together, these organizations are making it easier for all kids to get balanced and active play.

The playground is the third of four being built in the Twin Counties and the twelfth overall by KaBOOM! and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust as part of Healthy Places NC, a long-term Trust initiative to improve the health of 10 to 12 rural North Carolina counties over the next decade. The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust supports KaBOOM! in promoting and protecting children’s rights to active play at home, at school and in the community.

Peacemakers slideis a Christian community development 501(c)3 organization serving the under-resourced area of South Rocky Mount by empowering residents with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead successful and sustainable lives.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina.

 

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Playground Coming!!!!

12670641_666557933483757_2133117928104657341_nGREAT NEWS! Peacemakers has been awarded a grant for a new playground for South Rocky Mount from Kaboom and the Kate B. Reynolds Foundation. This is an incredibly generous grant, but Peacemakers must raise $8,500 to contribute to the project. This project will provide children and families who live in the South Rocky Mount community with a safe place to play. It will also include 5 adult workout stations, so adults can exercise while their children play. This is another important step in our overall effort to see the transformation of this under-resourced community. Please join with us! To give, go here: http://rockymountpeacemakers.org/online-giving/ . You will have the option to direct your gift to the playground project.

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Intentional Relationships

o-RACISM-HANDS-facebookEvery day there is a new racially-charged incident making news. And for every incident, there are very predictable outcries of injustice, and equally predictable counter outcries in denunciation of what is seen as liberal propaganda. And the only thing that seems to be changing is the level of vitriol.

But racism is sin. Injustice is sin. And as Christians, we have to lead the way in dealing with it head-on. To do that, we have to be willing to hear a different perspective.

Consider the possibility that a lot of what we would typically label racism, on all sides, may come from a lack of understanding. We don’t comprehend or understand another person’s perspective, so we tend to misinterpret it. I firmly believe that most of our local racial tension would dissipate if we made an intentional effort to form real relationships across racial lines. I know that my own perspective on a lot of things related to race and poverty has changed dramatically over the last seven years, and it is because of the ongoing relationships that I have with people that have walked in a different place than I have.

I will readily admit that it is much easier to stand at a distance and make sweeping judgments about people than it is to invest the time in building deep relationships. But if we are going to accurately represent Christ, we don’t have an option.
The racial divide that we have in our community is a huge problem that holds us back in so many ways. But it is also a huge opportunity for the church to demonstrate that life in Christ can look so much different and be so much richer.

If we are going to do so, it has to mean more than having a joint worship service – although those are good. It has to mean that our relationships, our deepest friendships, have to look different and be different – we have to be willing to take the risk of crossing racial and economic lines. The kinds of things we work for and advocate for have to be different. The way we talk about people of other ethnicities has to be different. The jokes that we laugh at or tolerate have to be different.
That’s what being salt and light looks like. That’s what being the body of Christ looks like.

Change can come to this city. But I don’t believe it is going to come with some big racial reconciliation event that is on the front page of the paper. It’s going to come by sitting down over a cup of coffee and really listening to a perspective that is different than mine, and grilling out in the backyard with someone my neighbors might not like, and being intentional about the way we live our lives, one relationship at a time.

Jesse Lewis
Executive Director

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