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The Learning Collaborative, (TLC), a five-star nationally certified preschool started by MPPC, helps at-risk preschoolers develop their school readiness skills, bringing them closer to the level of more advantaged children. The TLC vision is that children and parents working together can overcome at-risk beginnings through early educational intervention, paving the way for success in kindergarten and beyond while fostering a love of learning, self-confidence, and hope for their future. Instead of paying tuition, TLC parents must volunteer a minimum of seven hours each month as well as attending weekly parenting workshops. This year TLC will hold its graduation ceremony at Myers Park Presbyterian on June 7, 2019 in Oxford Hall.

Last year, one of our graduates was a very special, bright, bubbly little 4 year-old boy named Elijah*. During the school year, Elijah’s brother developed serious medical problems that required many trips to the doctor. Because transportation was an issue for their family, Elijah’s mom had to bring Elijah along every time his little brother had a medical appointment. Elijah missed a lot of school, so much so that his TLC teachers feared he would not be ready for kindergarten. The TLC team joined together with Elijah’s mom to create strategies that would support his academic growth. They also helped him attend school as often as possible so that he could graduate from TLC prepared for big school. By the time June arrived, Elijah met all school readiness benchmarks and was on his way to a successful entry to kindergarten.

Because TLC provides a secure, caring, loving, and nurturing learning environment, families experiencing great hardship, traumatic events or generational poverty are deeply supported and lifted up. The staff, teachers, board and volunteers of TLC serve God through serving others – no matter what the circumstance. We believe every child deserves the opportunity to succeed.

Myers Park Presbyterian has a rich history of partnership with The Learning Collaborative. Currently, a team of disciples serves as classroom assistants to teachers at least two times per month. They provide in-classroom assistance to help students develop a love of learning and prepare for kindergarten. Come join the Teacher Support Team at TLC. For more information on how you can serve and support TLC, visit www.tlccharlotte.org or contact Priscilla Chapman, ministry team leader, at priscilla.n.chapman@gmail.com.

*Name has been changed to respect confidentiality