The SHINE program at Firelands Elementary School is underway!

This outreach program is a collaboration between local volunteers and Firelands Elementary School (FES). In 2019, district administration discussed how volunteers could best support our young students. At the same time, congregation members at Henrietta United Methodist Church (HUMC) were looking for a way to support local children.  The district recognized that students would benefit from individual one-on-one time with an organized volunteer organization and the program was born.

This team effort has led to the creation of the S.H.I.N.E. program:

S= Supporting


I= Inspiring


E=Empowering students through one-on-one reading.

This year, the program kicked off on November 2nd with a light breakfast and time for our volunteers to meet their students and for the students to pick out their first book!

Once a week the volunteers will meet their student to read the child’s book of choice with the child rather than just reading the book to the child. Engaging the child with open ended questions encourages children to think and talk about what they are reading. Active reading improves a child’s language skills, vocabulary, and the ability to understand what they read on their own. After the book is read three times, the student will be able to take the book home with them!

All the HUMC volunteers have had in-depth background checks and parents/guardians have been informed. An initial training session was held for volunteers to further understand the expectations of the program. FES Assistant Principal Mrs. Laura Groboske led the training and stated, “ Our students are lucky to be able to spend this time with willing volunteers that want to share in the growth of our Falcons”.

With deep appreciation we thank the following community members for their ongoing commitment to our students:

  • Ms. Laura Watson
  • Mr. Fred Hoffman
  • Ms. Cincy Oleksa
  • Mrs. Sara Schlechter
  • Mrs. Marge Statler
  • Mrs. Kathy Littleton
  • Mr. Michael Littleton
  • Ms. Kathy Grote
  • Mrs. Natalie Born
  • Mrs. Judy Baumann

The time that these dedicated volunteers have committed to our students is greatly appreciated. We are thankful for this community collaboration, and we are excited that our students will be able to participate in this enrichment opportunity!