chosen by Talitha Koum for its researched effectiveness.
When we were starting Talitha Koum, we knew we were committing ourselves to a long-term program. It will take years of ministry to break the cycle of poverty and chaos that grips this community.
The curriculum we use in our Nurture Center program is called High/Scope®. Through the Perry Preschool Project, the powerful effects of High/Scope has been longitudinally studied for over forty years. The original students were toddlers from a deep pocket of poverty who were at high risk of future school failure. Researchers tracked the original students from infancy to their fortieth birthday.
The results are impressive:
Study Population and Methodology:
• 123 African Americans born in poverty and at high risk of failing in school.
• Test group used High/Scope® curriculum while control group had no preschool program.
• Data collected annually ages 3 to 11 and at ages 14, 15, 19, 27, and, recently, at 39-41.
High school graduate or GED
High/Scope® / 71%
Control / 54% Females
High/Scope® / 84%
Control / 35%
Earn more than $24,000 per year by age 27 (1990 dollars)
High/Scope® / 42%
Control / 6%
High/Scope® / 36%
Control / 13%
More than 5 arrests by age 28
High/Scope® / 12%
Control / 45%
The children living in the Kate Ross neighborhood of South Waco are born into multi-generational urban poverty. Most likely, their parents and grandparents lived in poverty and grew up with same frightening insecurity in their own childhoods. The monumental task of simply surviving poverty puts an enormous physical and emotional toll on both parents and children. Starting from birth, a child’s brain begins to develop around repetitive experiences. When children live with this type of stress it slows down the neural connections that develop in a child’s brain the first five years of their lives. If there is no appropriate early intervention, neural connections become impaired in ways that last a lifetime. The result is a child who is unable to control their behavior, make good choices, or have academic success.
Talitha Koum’s goal is to send these children into public school at Kindergarten with a brain organized for learning, the emotional strength to self-regulate, problem solving skills, and compassion for others. It is the role of our therapeutic nursery to shape each child’s day with consistency of loving care, sensitivity to their individuality, and opportunities for self-expression.
Our Parenting Program
Intensive parenting support classes are held at the Nurture Center each Tuesday evening from 6:00 -7:00. This informal, but planned, time gives families an overview of topics from child development and parent-child interaction to health issues and care of the newborn. It also provides a forum for often-young mothers and mothers-to-be to ask questions about pregnancy, childbirth, or other issues that arise with their infants and growing toddlers.
The programs also cover a wide variety of topic offer the families guidance and assistance with:
Appreciation for the beauty of a child’s unfolding life
If you, your church, or civic group might provide:
a meal for parenting night
provision of “gifty” items as Parent Meeting incentives (a great project for a Sunday School class; just one Sunday have a drive for gift items like lotion, bath gel, shampoo, a set of towels, a set of sheets, picture frames, home decor items, etc.)
Please call 753-1144 for more information
Make a Meaningful Commitment to One Child’s Life
Do you hold an interest in seeing these children continue to excel until they wear a cap and gown? We need dedicated mentors who take the responsibility for one child with the intention of being present in his or her life she or he goes to college or into productive employment. Try it for a year!
Click here to read the goals of our mentoring program and learn more about how mentors engage with our children. Some mentors act as individuals, some as couples, others as teams of two who share a particular child.
Mentoring begins when the child is launched from Talitha Koum to attend Kindergarten in a local school.
It is best if the mentor has entered the program in advance so that the mentor gets to know the child while he or she is still in our care at Talitha Koum during the Pre-K year. During that time the mentor will likely be drawn to mentoring a particular child. Yet, it has also worked well for a mentoring prospect to simply say whether a boy or girl is a better fit and what age child is preferred. Talitha Koum has children awaiting mentors who are already in elementary school.
Significant mentoring program support is provided through Talitha Koum’s Clinical Director, Nurture Center Director and by way of our long-held relationships with the parents of our children. In addition, mentors offer mentoring counsel and ideas to each other.
For further information or to enter the Talitha Koum Mentoring application process, contact Susan Cowley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or simply fill out the application and attach it to an email to Susan. She’ll be in touch with you for a time you may visit for an interview and confidential information on the children entering the mentoring program.
Brain Trust Program
From the changing table to the chalkboard
Talitha Koum is founded on the belief that a child born into fifth generation urban poverty can break through the “surround of force”* that assails the poor ~ if we intervene early and therapeutically.
Your participation in our Brain Trust program ensures that the child you support will have that opportunity.
Brain Trust Participation
Steward: Commits to giving/raising $10,000 each year from ‘Trustees” among friends and family for the years their selected child attends Talitha Koum Nurture Center. Most are with us for five years ~ from infancy until they leave for Kindergarten. The “Brain Trust” fund covers that child’s portion of his/her teacher’s salary plus benefits. Stewards are supplied with explanatory materials, photos, and assistance as needed.
Updates: Both the Steward and the Trustees ~ as well as the child’s parents ~ will receive online, password protected updates about their child on a quarterly basis. The child’s teacher will write about how the child is progressing as recorded in the HighScope® COR (Child Observation Record). The child’s parents will also be interviewed quarterly around how they perceive the child’s growth, as well as any prayer requests the parent might make known.
Contact Talitha Koum at 254.753.1144 for details.
Will I meet the child I support?
If you wish, you may drop by Talitha Koum and we will make introduction by way of an observation window where you might view the child at play or at rest, interacting with teachers and playmates.
What do the child’s parents know about this program?
The program’s concept was carefully explained to Talitha Koum parents at the outset and their cooperation was readily gained. Written authorization has been obtained from the parents regarding all aspects of the program including the sharing of their child’s first name.
Am I expected to contribute in other ways?
Talitha Koum has no intention of ever asking Stewards or Trustees to provide gifts for the child or to fulfill a family’s needs. And certainly it will be totally up to you whether or not you provide for Talitha Koum in any way other than your Brain Trust pledge.
Will my name be associated with the Brain Trust?
Stewards allow their name to be used. Trustees’ names will be associated with the child’s Brain Trust unless the Trustee makes an explicitly anonymous gift. We are grateful for the opportunity to publish your name with the hope that it will engender the generosity of others who respect you and your choice to join us in this transformative effort.