Learning center in Jackson trying to to help kids excel, looking to expand

Posted at 11:13 AM, Jul 22, 2017

JACKSON, Mich. (WSYM) -- Lily Mission Center is giving underprivileged children access to things they need to succeed to make them well-rounded in the community, but the center can only provide so much because they have a debt over $300,000 to pay off.

"They're going to improve educationally, but in social skills. We do everything from writing people from other countries, to dentistry, to music and art, to reading and specializing really in math,"James Hines said.

However, this summer has been a financial strain for the center trying to accommodate every child. They have a waiting list of 20 children, which puts them over capacity.

"We're trying to stretch our program to really take about 60 children, and go to an evening program for our teenagers. As you know, Jackson has dealt with a lot of teenage violence and we're trying to put that to an end," Hines added.

Leontyne Hines said the summer reading program would play a huge role in providing that safe space for all ages to go to, and it's not just based on what's in the books. It adds to their overall lifestyle.

"Not only are we trying to improve reading skills, but it also goes far beyond that with health initiatives," she said.

Thais Rousseau with the Capital Area Library said it's important to support summer reading programs like these because they help students perform better during the school year.

"It's important to do it all the time. We know that if you read all the time, that it improves those skills," she said.

The center is trying to pay off the $325,000 debt in just 42 days. They only have $100,000 to go. This debt reduction will help the center to invest an additional $6,500 per month into the children of the community.

Lily Missions Center also plans to have a special event to thank the community for their support on August 31, 2017. It will be at Lily Missionary Baptist Church located at 1117 W G Wade Dr, Jackson, MI 49201.

They are calling it "Lily's Taste of Gratitude".

You can make donations from 11:00am to 1:00 pm or 4:00pm to 6:00pm.