According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation, kids ages 5-11 make up 39% of the United States’ population. That’s 28.6 million kids in kindergarten through grade 5 in close to 98,300 public schools. As of spring 2019, Kids Hope USA churches were only partnered with just over 1,000 elementary schools in 35 states.
So, why does this matter? Of these 28.6 million kids, nearly 22 percent of all children have two or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect. Seem a little bleak to you? There is HOPE for children with ACEs to recover from the trauma and move forward.
That’s where Kids Hope USA comes in. Research shows that having buffers, especially a caring adult, can change the life trajectory of a child. Education Weekly states, “maintaining a strong connection to school and to caring adults throughout the building is a powerful way to buffer the negative impact of pervasive stressors.” The school is where a child lives most of his life and being connected to the adults there plays an important role in tipping the scale.
But schools can’t do it alone. In fact, they shouldn’t have to. God has designed the Church to be His agent in the community – to address the needs of the children found just down the street. As a Kids Hope USA partner, your church can step forward to help our nation deal with this very real crisis. Children are hurting, schools are struggling, but God is on the move.
Interested in making a change in your community by impacting the life of a child, connect with a regional Kids Hope USA team to get started today!