more than two decades strong
Since 1996, when Neighbors In Ministry launched the Rise & Shine year-round after school program, we have been helping economically disadvantaged and racial minority children learn -- about the fundamental importance of education, about their community and culture, and about themselves.
Today, Rise & Shine continues to emphasize social justice and racial harmony through a variety of educational efforts. By working together in an atmosphere of respect and an environment in which differences are embraced, the scholars, staff, and volunteers all discover – for the first time, in some cases – what it is like to develop close bonds with others from different backgrounds. Former Executive Director Shelia McBee Norman asserts, "By working side by side, every day, with people whose skin color and life experiences differ from yours, Rise & Shine lives the values of social justice and racial harmony.” Nowhere is this more apparent than in the easy and open friendships that develop among the black, white, and Latino children served by the program. Seemingly color-blind, the youngsters study, learn, and play together, relating to one another as family.
Our approach is founded on teamwork and collaboration. The board of directors and staff work together to establish and maintain a blueprint for helping our scholars succeed, both in the classroom and in life. Our wonderful, dedicated volunteers give tirelessly of themselves to teach and coach and support the children they tutor. And parents, grandparents, and guardians reinforce these efforts. Together, we are breaking down barriers and building community.