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Pomona Hope News    Spring  2014
 
Pomona Hope News!

Dr. Seuss Day at Lincoln Elementary

On February 28, Pomona Hope’s amazing staff of three was invited as guests of honor to Lincoln Elementary School’s annual celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  Emily, Jeff, and Liz were welcomed into classrooms and took turns reading Dr. Seuss classics like Green Eggs and Ham while kids listened in rapt attention. 
As one of the main schools our kids attend, Lincoln Elementary has had a long and supportive relationship with Pomona Hope. “Lincoln’s principal has been a really excellent partner,” Emily shared.  “She is always eager to talk and hear how things are going with Pomona Hope.”
During their visit, our staff was able to share about Pomona Hope’s vision and opportunities. Students and staff were interested to learn more about Pomona Hope, but one student in particular was excited about the visit.
“One class we visited had one of our students and he was super excited to see us at his school,” Emily shared.
Well, who wouldn’t be?

Christmas at Pomona Hope!

Though we are already well into 2014, we would be remiss in not reporting how Pomona Hope celebrated Christmas!
After the kids came back from Thanksgiving, three weeks of school remained before Christmas break.  This alone would normally have the kids bouncing off the walls for the duration, but for the first two weeks of that time, they were getting out of school an hour early due to parent teacher conferences.  To accommodate them, Pomona Hope opened up an hour early those two weeks and welcomed them in. Instead of coming up with a modified, longer program day schedule, we used that time to have the kids work on Christmas crafts or listen as someone read them Christmas books (i.e. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", etc.)  They also went through an Advent Calendar, reading a verse or two a day that, at the end of the three weeks, told them the Christmas Story.  They put the verses on a small Rosemary bush, shaped like a tree, as ornaments.
Some of the crafts they did included handprint wreaths, Christmas chains, and letters to Santa which, when turned into the red mailbox at Macy's, would count toward Macy's giving $1 donations for each of them to the Make-A-Wish foundation.  Some of our older kids were reluctant to write letters to Santa, but once they heard what it was for, they were all over it.  Didn't even have to read the age-old article, "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" to them!  The kids are pretty great!
The month of December culminated in our annual Christmas party – our best yet! Two different churches, (Lifesong Community Church of Chino and Baseline Community Church of Claremont) participated in the festivities and there were about a million gifts for our kids to choose from to buy for their families.  The Physical Therapy Department of Pomona Valley Hospital and Lifesong Community Church provided most of these gifts while Baseline Community Church sponsored most of the activities!  We are extremely grateful for the generous and enthusiastic partnership of these institutions that made this amazing event possible.
Do you buy books, DVDs, or CDs through Amazon.com? By making those purchases through the Amazon Affiliates link on www.pomonahope.org, 2-5% of your purchase will go to support the work of Pomona Hope! From the www.pomonahope.org homepage, simply click on the Amazon icon!
Jeff and Liz introduce youngsters to such literary masterpieces as Pete the Cat and Dr. Seuss's There's a Wocket in My Pocket!

Upcoming Events!

Campus Crash: March 24-26
PH Youth Coordinator Jeff Johannsen will be taking our High School youth on a Spring Break College Tour of the campuses of Azusa Pacific University, the Claremont Colleges, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, Cal Poly Pomona, and Mt. SAC! Each campus tour will be given by college staff or alumni connected to Pomona Hope and will include special giveaways and an on-campus meal! Please pray for what is sure to be a life-changing experience for our youth!
Car Show: March 22
Stay Gold Barber Shop is sponsoring its first annual car show on Saturday, March 22 and has chosen Pomona Hope as its charity of choice! Set on First Street just east of Garey Ave in downtown, the event will be from 8AM to 4PM and will feature live music! Come see us!
Volunteer BBQ: April 25
Volunteers, mark your calendars and save your appetite for a volunteer appreciation BBQ at the home of Pomona Hope Board member Joe George. Details to follow! 

Encouraging Hope

 by Liz Cowan, PH Kids Coordinator

Recently I was coordinating the program and it was the day for our Garden Workshop.  As I walked a Kindergarten-aged student who came late over at one point, I noticed an older guy watching us from his car.  I walked away from the Garden after dropping the kid off, and noticed that this guy was now out of his car.  It looked like he was waiting for someone in the neighboring apartments, and was watching the class just because it was the only thing to see in the neighborhood.  This guy was middle-aged, bigger, wearing a tank top, a baseball cap, and had a lot of tattoos.  I greeted him on my way out of the garden and we ended up having a conversation. He started talking about how great it was that we were doing this for the kids.  He mentioned that he grew up in Pomona and has lived in San Dimas for 25 years now, because he had to get away.  I told him I did the opposite.
He seemed really encouraged by what we were doing, and kept saying that he thought that the reason so many kids join gangs in the area is because they don't get the love that they need at home, so it was good that we were offering that love to the neighborhood kids, just in case any of them are missing that love.
This unexpected conversation put me in a good mood AND gave me a lot of hope for our kids' futures.
(Shared from Liz's blog, When Doubting Would be Easier)

By the Numbers . . .

98 volunteers trained by Liz Cowan this year
85 percent of our students earning a B average or higher in all subject areas
76 percent of our students showing improvement in Language Arts
43 K-8 students regularly attending After School with Pomona Hope
30 volunteers partnering each week
15 Junior High students attending Pomona Hope (up from 4 last year)
12 High School students attending Pomona Hope each week
11 High School students attending Jeff Johannsen’s College Access class
6 college campus visits scheduled for our Spring Break Campus Crash!
3 amazing full-time staff
1 AWESOME God who loves the people of Pomona!
You're part of our team! Let us know what you think and please forward to friends you know would love to hear about the work of Pomona Hope!  Thank you for your continued support!
Pomona Hope
401 N. Gibbs St.
Pomona, CA 91767
www.pomonahope.org
info@pomonahope.org
donate@pomonahope.org