By Christy Barritt
Failing School Revitalized by Church
A public school in inner-city Portland, Oregon, was once on the short list to be shut down because of frequent gang violence. It was one of the most underperforming schools in the state. But because of a church, Roosevelt High School has been transformed and is now thriving at its highest academic level in years.
In June 2008, SouthLake Church in West Linn participated in a campus cleanup day at the school. More than 1,500 church members showed up to help. Eventually the church began supplying food for students, helped to coach the school’s football team, set up a clothes closet, and provided mentoring. The church even began providing a childcare facility in order to encourage teen parents to pursue their education.
Last year Roosevelt had the highest graduation rate increase in the state of Oregon.
A documentary about the church/school partnership called Undivided recently released. A national movement called #EverySchoolMatters also started to encourage churches to partner with public schools.
Growing Number of Stay-at-Home Dads
The number of fathers staying home with their children has nearly doubled from a quarter of a century ago. According to Pew Research, there are nearly two million stay-at-home dads today. In fact, stay-at-home dads now account for 16 percent of at-home caretakers. In 1989, men only accounted for 10 percent of those at home.
High unemployment contributed to the growth of this trend. However, 35 percent of stay-at-home fathers said they were embracing the duty because of illness or disability, 23 percent said it was because they couldn’t find a job, and 21 percent said it was because they wanted to care for the family.
A separate survey by Boston College found that the majority of working men wished they could switch places with their stay-at-homes wives if it was financially feasible.
States with Highest Church Attendance
A new Gallup poll shows which U.S. states have the highest and lowest percentage of church attendance.
Utah had the highest percentage of self-reported church attendance, with 51 percent of those polled saying they attended religious services once a week. Mississippi came in second with 47 percent, while Alabama and Louisiana tied for third, with 46 percent of state residents reporting weekly attendance.
The states with the lowest percentage of visits were located mostly in the Northeast. Vermont topped the list with only 17 percent of participants saying they attend weekly services. New Hampshire and Maine followed, at 20 percent.
The results were based off Gallup Daily interviews conducted throughout 2014 and involved a total of 177,030 participants. Individuals were asked, “How often do you attend a church, synagogue, or mosque—at least once a week, almost every week, about once a month, seldom, or never?” Results were based on the “once a week” answer.
Dog Finds Owner in Hospital
A dog that ran away from home turned up at an Iowa hospital where its owner had been staying for two weeks. The dog, a miniature schnauzer named Sissy, traveled two miles to get to the Cedar Rapids medical center where her person, 64-year-old Nancy Franck, was a patient.
Surveillance cameras caught the dog entering through the automatic doors at the front of the hospital. Security guards stopped the dog before she got too far. Using Sissy’s tags, officials called Franck’s husband.
According to Franck’s family, the dog escaped from the backyard and apparently was on a mission to find Nancy. Hospital staff, after seeing Sissy’s clear determination, approved the dog to visit Nancy, who was receiving chemotherapy for uterine cancer.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband, Scott, have two sons (christybarritt.com).