First United Methodist Church (FUMC) has been supporting public education in many ways throughout the years. One major impact that First United Methodist Church has been involved in for the past 5 years is their involvement with Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS).
First United Methodist Church has recruited over 100 volunteers for Volunteers in Public Schools' Everybody Reads program. Everybody Reads provides individualized reading assistance to 1st-3rd grade students in the East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System who are reading below grade level with the goal of getting them reading on grade level by the end of the school year. Volunteers called "Reading Friends" provide one-on-one reading tutorial assistance to the students. Everybody Reads, a reading tutorial program of Volunteers In Public Schools is an ongoing tutorial program. The program runs during the school system, starting in August and concludes in May.
Reading Friends demonstrate that the people of East Baton Rouge Parish care and take action when it comes to education. By helping children learn, and love to read, First United Methodist Church is doing something to positively reinforce the need and importance of education. It is reported that 51% of all fourth grade students in Louisiana cannot read at basic level, well, First United Methodist Church is diligently working towards the change that's much needed in the school system. By working closely with Volunteers In Public Schools, First United Methodist Church has partnered with Magnolia Woods and Bernard Terrace Elementary schools. First United Methodist Church volunteers faithfully in volunteering their time and efforts by being a "Reading Friend" to help children in 1st-3rd grade who are reading below grade level.
First United Methodist Church also reaches out to Magnolia Woods and Bernard Terrace elementary schools on a regular basis by: Everybody Reads program (Volunteers In Public Schools) – 100+ volunteers tutoring students School Supply Drive every July/August Uniform Drive each summer Host programs at First United Methodist Church for Bernard Terrace FUSE (First United Student Enrichment) – a summer program with students from Bernard Terrace or Magnolia Woods who need a little extra love, support, and tutoring 12-14 children each Tuesday for 5 weeks. Support Bernard Terrace and Magnolia Woods annually with $3,000 Financial contribution to Volunteers In Public Schools (2004-2005), $5,000 Collect Community Coffee, Campbell, and Swanson product labels to benefit their schools partners The Giving Tree members of the Church given children from their partnering schools Christmas presents each year Funds given to Magnolia Woods to help teachers with classroom supplies.