Volunteering at Brookstone since February was an unexpected blessing for me. My stint as a "lunch buddy" this year with a 4th grade student started slowly with little conversation or interaction. After a few weeks though, I realized how much this scheduled meeting meant to us both, so I was sure not to miss any opportunities. As time passed and we got to know each other better by sharing about our families and what was going on in our lives, we began to build trust with each other and the lunches became even more meaningful. Yes, we even discussed schoolwork occasionally. Helping the students with math and reading was another unexpected blessing for me. I quickly learned how much this special attention meant to the readers and how challenging (but vital) basic math can be for some students. I was particularly impressed when I realized virtually all the students I had met knew and called me Mr. Peter when they saw me and many simply came up to greet or hug me. I am looking forward to renewing these relationships in the fall. Thank you Brookstone!
When I first learned about Brookstone Schools, I was immediately drawn to their mission for children. I volunteer as a lunch buddy for a 7th grade young lady who is full of life, bright, articulate, and makes me smile with the different conversations we have each week. It warms my heart and brings me much joy to be able to impart a little bit of love and spark into her life.
During my initial visit to Brookstone, I was immediately impressed by the caliber and quality of the students, teachers and staff that I met during my tour. Through volunteering at the school in the Lunch Buddy Program, I feel I have an opportunity to not only help equip my lunch buddy for success in school and beyond but also have a kingdom impact on the next generation of leaders in this city.
Nothing brings me greater joy than helping a child know how loved he/she is. The children's sweet spirits and love for life invigorate me each time I'm at Brookstone.
I was first introduced to Brookstone in 2007 when a friend invited me to come with her to see the annual Christmas musical. When I saw the school’s mission in action, the Christian focus and the remarkable way things were structured to help children succeed, I 'signed up' right away! I have been Brianna’s Partner since she was in first grade. I have loved being her Partner and Lunch Buddy and getting to know her classmates. Brianna’s family has become "family" to my husband Stuart and me, and our daughters as well.
The more time I spend at Brookstone, the more I realize how special these kids are and how much this school, from the teachers to the senior faculty to the volunteers, are committed to creating a life changing experience for each of these students. As a Partner and Lunch Buddy, I’ve had an opportunity to be a part of that mission, and over time have gotten to know both the boy I sponsor as well as a lot of his classmates. It’s been a blessing to me to have their friendship and see life from a completely different perspective.
I was introduced to Brookstone 8 years ago and was immediately impressed by the school’s mission to provide a quality education to underprivileged kids in a Christian environment. In the last 3 years I have enjoyed spending more time with Joseph, the student we sponsor. Joseph is now in the 6<sup>th</sup> grade and we both look forward to getting together for lunch every other week. This relationship has been deeply rewarding for me as well as my family.
I first met my student partner, Trinity Broom in 2008 when she was in 1<sup>st</sup> grade. I treasure the letters, photos and drawings she has given me and have saved these in a binder. It has been a joy to watch Trinity grow up over the years and to be her cheerleader along the way. What a confident and remarkable young lady she has become!
Teaching at Brookstone is a privilege. Daily I partner with a community of other teachers, volunteers and families to invest in young men and women who will be leaders among their generation. They are equipped with an excellent education, leadership skills and spiritual disciplines. I get to tell my students daily about how valuable they are to God and about His awesome purpose for their lives. It is awe inspiring to see them start to believe those truths about themselves and realize their potential. I am pushed to constantly hone my skills and learn new techniques to fully equip my students with excellent education. It has been such a sweet time in my personal walk with the Lord to share Him with my students, learn more about Him through discussions with my students and trust and pray along with my students for His provision and guidance in our lives. We are learning together how to be disciples of Christ. I have learned so much about God's character as I've walked alongside my students in their struggles and joys. Unlike many, I can look towards the future of our nation with confidence and optimism because I see God's work daily in the lives of future "Joshuas" - students equipped and passionate to boldly lead in advancing the Kingdom of God and making a positive impact in the world.
3rd Grade Teacher