Interviewed Zack Nicholson with Minding the Gap in Kansas City a ministry that addresses literacy in schools, supports school staff and does after school christian clubs in Kansas City. 

Zack highlighted the alarming statistic that only about a third of U.S. students read proficiently by third grade, increasing their likelihood of dropping out of high school by four times. Completing high school can lead to a $200,000 higher lifetime income, emphasizing literacy's crucial role in education and daily life. 

They focus on the literacy crisis, particularly in Kansas City, and discuss addressing this issue through tutoring and mentoring programs to help struggling students.

Zack shares his experiences working in Hickman Mills and Grandview, areas with high poverty rates where all students qualify for free or reduced lunches. He emphasizes the need for targeted literacy interventions, connecting literacy with social issues such as military eligibility. 

Nathan and Zack also explore the intersection of literacy and Christian values, advocating for viewing and treating others with respect and dignity. They stress the importance of serving the poor and marginalized, referencing biblical teachings to support their mission.

The podcast discusses the growth of the Mind the Gap organization, which provides mentorship, tutoring, and teacher appreciation in schools. Nicholson's personal experience with his son's dyslexia inspired the creation of the 180 Club, focusing on improving literacy scores and spiritual development.

The program aims to provide hope and build relationships with students. Nathan and Zack also discuss the broader impact of the Minding the Gap ministry, emphasizing the importance of local church involvement and community partnerships to support literacy and reduce crime rates, ultimately aiming to meet both practical and spiritual needs in schools.

I would highly recommend getting involved in this organization.

More resources for this ministry can be found on Faith Horizons episode page:

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