Awareness for a Better Tomorrow Highlights Children Organizations
Awareness for a Better Tomorrow is a Cumberland University event to raise awareness of organizations both locally and worldwide that benefit children. Organizations attending desire for the students on campus and people in the community to be aware of positive ways to affect youth both locally and abroad. Awareness for a Better Tomorrow will be held in Baird Chapel on Cumberland University's campus on April 13, 2011 from 6-8 PM.
The organizations will have booths and talk to Cumberland students and people in the community about what their organization is about and give them opportunities to make a difference. The general themes of the organizations attending are organizations that benefit children. Organizations that are being asked to attend are: The Invisible Children Foundation, Potter’s House, Southern STARRS, Hope Again, The Salvation Army, Ride for Reading, Prospect, Habitat for Humanity, and also student representatives for TOMs Shoes, Cookies for Kid’s Cancer, Right to Play, and Pennies for Peace.
Invisible Children is a movement seeking to end the conflict in Uganda and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers. They use film, creativity, and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war and restore Northern Uganda to peace and prosperity. In the spring of 2003, three young filmmakers traveled to Africa in search of a story. What started out as a filmmaking adventure transformed into much more when these boys from Southern California discovered a tragedy that disgusted and inspired them, a tragedy where children are both the weapons and the victims.
After returning to the States, they created the documentary "Invisible Children: Rough Cut," a film that exposes the tragic realities of northern Uganda's night commuters and child soldiers. The film was originally shown to friends and family, but has now been seen by millions of people. The overwhelming response has been, "How can I help?" To answer this question, the non-profit Invisible Children, Inc. was created, giving compassionate individuals an effective way to respond to the situation. Invisible Children is a social, political and global movement using the transformative power of story to change lives. By inspiring youth culture to value creativity, idealism and sacrifice, the movement fuels the most effective, adaptable and innovative programs in the world.
The Invisible Children Foundation is showing a screening during the event that is new this spring. Also, they have two different students from Uganda, Africa that will be sharing their story.
Southern STARRS is dedicated to providing safe and goal oriented therapeutic and recreational horseback riding and animal assisted activities to special needs children and adults. Its program is open to any individual who have been diagnosed with a physical or mental disability for a minimal tuition fee. STARRS is the only therapeutic riding program in Tennessee that also serves children who have suffered a life-altering trauma such as a critical or terminal illness, loss of parent, or removal to state's custody as a result of abuse or neglect.
Ride For Reading's mission is to promote literacy and healthy living through the distribution of books via bicycle to children from low-income neighborhoods. In low-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children. Reading is an integral part of education, and without books it is hard to build a strong academic base. Children need materials to read at home and it is the goal of Ride for Reading to provide the means.
The Cumberland University cycling team, coached by Tim Hall, has partnered with RfR to improve literacy in Wilson County, Tennessee. Team members collect books and deliver them via bicycles while promoting bicycling safety. They will target schools near campus in Lebanon, Watertown, and Mt. Juliet. It is a mission of Cumberland University to engage its athletes within the local community, and RfR is the perfect fit to achieve that goal.
Hope Again is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to rescue and restore children to their right to life. Thousands of children are effected by a global modern-day sex slavery, also known as human trafficking. In the past year, HOPE AGAIN has held three performing arts benefits to raise awareness and funds to fight this dark epidemic that is rapidly spreading.
Hope Again's founder and current Cumberland University student, Rebekah Hope Mason, started Hope Again after working in clinics and slums in India in 2007. She will be going back to India this summer with a team from Nashville doing medical work in New Delhi slums.
Potter's House Ministries is the community friendly and interactive home of numerous individuals pursuing purpose, life, and faith. The Inner-city Kids Empowerment Program(IKE) is a full time, after school tutoring program offered by the Potter's House in Lebanon. About 150-200 students are referred to the IKE Tutoring Program by their public school teachers who partner with the IKE team assuring the specific needs of the children are met. These teachers also monitor the children's progress and advise the IKE team where help is needed. Their mission is to encourage and remediate at-risk children.
There will be food and many teachers are offering extra credit for attendance. The event is open to the CU family and Lebanon community. The event is hosted by Kristen McClanahan with help from various organizations on campus. Any Questions can be directed to Kristen's email.