Close this search box.

The Literacy Project


Manchester UMC has partnered with The Gathering, to combine our resources for this ministry. The Literacy Project pairs volunteer reading mentors with kindergarten and first grade students at schools in the St. Louis Public Schools and the Normandy Schools Collaborative.

Mentors work one-on-one with the same student every week from October through April. Using best practices in literacy instruction and child development, we help students develop early literacy skills. However, the power of this program lies not only in helping students improve their reading, but also in the authentic relationships formed between mentors and mentees.

We work to build mutually beneficial partnerships with schools and to truly become a part of the school communities. We support teachers and staff in their efforts to nurture students’ gifts and abilities and empower them to succeed.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Mentor (100+ needed!): 
    Works one-on-one with a kindergarten or first grade student on literacy lessons and reading concepts (all materials and training provided) while building a meaningful relationship with the student. No education experience necessary!
  • Teacher Appreciation Coordinators: 
    Plans monthly treats and surprises for faculty and staff at our partner schools. They do not design and create all the treats, but instead coordinate groups to commit to each month.
  • Staff Appreciation opportunities for Small Groups: 
    Staff appreciation is a key part of how we partner with our Literacy Project schools and it takes a lot of hands to appreciate all 182 staff members in 4 buildings, monthly August-May!  We need groups to sign up to work with our Staff Appreciation Coordinators to plan treats each month at one of our partner schools. We’ll help you find a month that works for you and have even chosen what the treat will be. (For example, in November we’re looking for groups to supply apples and caramel dip for the 40-53 members of staff at 1 building). 
To learn more about volunteering, please email Amy Folkins.

Learn more about The Literacy Project

To learn more about the Literacy Initiative, please contact Liz Shuburte.



Exactly How Did I Get Here?

Romans 5:6-8. We all wonder how we got to the places we inhabit. Sometimes we muddle along and find ourselves in a place of great blessing. We receive more than we’ve given. But the opposite is also true: Sometimes we do our due diligence, but everything turns to mud. Problems

Learn More »
Pastor's Note

A Dream of Manchester UMC

The night before my first Monday as part of the staff of Manchester UMC, I had a dream. I dreamed I was packing a large suitcase. Evidently, I was traveling to some spot where I was to address a large group of people on a topic dealing with spiritual life. But I was having

Learn More »

This Moment To Arise

Psalm 37:1-6. The transfiguration event revealed the identity of Jesus in a flash of light. The disciples witnessed it, but had to go back down the mountain into the darkness of the world around them. Even though we are broken and flawed, God’s “limitless, undying love” shines all around us

Learn More »