Our Hope In Action Fund is designed to allow our volunteer coordinators to request funding for a variety of different reasons, from emergency food to field trips to construction projects. Today we hear from our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, about how our volunteer coordinator, Linda, at Tonalea Day School in Arizona has been able to support children — and parents — at her school, thanks to the flexibility that this special fund offers.

Visting Tonalea

“Linda has also applied for extra assistance from our Hope In Action Program, and she sang its praises.”

“Tonalea Day School is located in the very small community of Tonalea, about 24 miles north-northeast of Tuba City, Arizona. About 52% of the residents live below the poverty line, with most of the rest hovering at or barely above it,” said Renée.

“The school is the heart of the community. It serves about 137 students in grades kindergarten through eighth. Over the past five years, the number of teachers has declined by 23%; there are now just ten teachers. In 2019, the number of enrolled students was approaching 250. There was a big decline during the pandemic. Both the reading and math standardized test scores are at a low 15%-19% proficient, as compared to an Arizona state average of 45%. The free lunch rate is 100%.”

Getting to meet sponsored children

During her visit, Renée had the pleasure of meeting every one of our sponsored children at Tonalea Day School.

“Upon my arrival, I was warmly greeted by our long-term volunteer coordinator, Linda. She escorted me down a hallway into an unused classroom, and then she went to the teachers’ rooms and pulled every single Children Incorporated sponsored child out of class. That does not often happen, and I was touched and gratified by her efforts,” said Renée.

“The children were super excited because Linda had promised them a lunch as a part of our meeting. Sure enough, a staff member had driven all the way to Tuba City and came back with sandwiches, chips, and bottled water. You would have thought it was Christmas. The children got in line and picked up their food and little packets of mayo and mustard. Linda and I went around and helped the youngest with their packets and napkins. First, there was silence as we ate, and they stared at me. But then Linda invited me to stand and speak to them. I greeted the children and thanked them for cooperating with Linda on her requests for their thank-you letters, pictures, and progress reports. And I told them that the updates and their letters are important and so appreciated. There were some giggles and wiggles during this talk. Then Linda let them chat quietly amongst themselves while I went around to each child, took a picture for their sponsor, and asked a few questions about their likes and hobbies. They were so sweet.”

Thankful for our support

“After the children returned to their classrooms, Linda and I talked. She is so grateful for our sponsorship program and the positive impact it has on the children. Linda has also applied for extra assistance from our Hope In Action Program, and she sang its praises. Linda said one of the most significant ways the fund has helped kids is by allowing her to purchase eyeglasses. She and the principal also started a Parent Engagement Initiative, and our organization helped with materials and supplies. This was deeply appreciated, and Linda feels the initiative succeeded in its goals and demonstrated increased parent involvement at the school,” said Renée.


How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.


written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

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