The Project Rise Mission Lifts Community

More Help for Families
Posted on 03/25/2019
Image of Project RISE Soul Food Dinner(Courtesy: Akron.com/West Side Leader)

The ninth annual Project RISE (Realizing Individual Strength through Education) Parent RISE-ing Soul Food Dinner for students and families experiencing homelessness was presented Feb. 25 at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church.
Project RISE is a federally funded program through the Ohio Department of Education and a collaborative effort among Akron Public Schools (APS), local shelters and the Akron community to provide supplemental educational services to children and youth experiencing homelessness. Officials said, during the 2017-18 school year, the organization served about 2,040 students experiencing homelessness. For more information on how to help in this endeavor, contact Special Programs Coordinator Rachel Breece at 330.761.2969 or rbreece@apslearns.org.

Officials said this year’s event offered about 110 staff, students and parents a dinner of fried chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas, candied yams and corn bread. Mount Lebanon Baptist Church members are shown below serving attendees at the Soul Food Dinner.

Image of Project RISE Soul Food Dinner

A variety of activities also were offered, some of which were related to the evening’s theme celebrating African-American history.

Other activities included books with coloring pages, word searches and crosswords, recipes and poetry written by African Americans for the families to complete together as part of Project RISE’s mission to provide family time in a nurturing and community environment. Activities also were provided by the Akron-Summit County Public Library.

Shown below is one of the evening’s activities — a button-making craft for the middle school students.

Image of Project RISE Soul Food Dinner

Families also had the opportunity to visit giveaway tables for hand-knitted hats and gloves, APS totebags, bean bag characters, new socks and 37 bags for mothers with soaps, lotions and other self-care products, as well as a gift card. The bags were put together by parents of St. Hilary School students. Also, all children received a new book from Children and Books (CAB) thanks to Chuck Bell.

Also during the event, Breece welcomed visitors. Robin Evans of Mount Lebanon Baptist Church led the group in performing “This Little Light of Mine,” and Project RISE member Corasse Hawkins and students from Akron’s Hope & Healing Center performed an interpretive song and dance.

The Soul Food Dinner was organized by the church and Evans, along with Breece and Amanda Smith, both of Project RISE.
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