For over 10 years, Franciscan Charities has offered a weekly Literacy Program to the children of the soup kitchen for fun, learning, and reading activities throughout the year. During the summer, the program is open daily for literacy and academic enrichment. This summer, up to 16 children came every day to practice reading, writing, math activities, play games, do arts and crafts, and even dance, run, play football/whiffle ball and blow bubbles outside in our parking lot.

The success of our summer program this year is the direct result of the effort, love, and energy of our two Summer Program Directors, Jack Szlosek and Sam Enweonwu, and our Assistant Director, Steaven Maina. When we asked Jack about his experience, he said he was excited about the progress the students made in their academics each day. He was especially excited to teach Kalia (a rising kindergartener) how to count and to watch Kymih learn to love reading. Jack was also very proud to be a part of Joy’s happiness when she finished her 6th grade summer academic package. Sam told us he loved his time in the Summer Literacy Program, especially the impact he made mentoring the young children. Although Jack and Sam are only rising college freshman, they did learn one very important life lesson about working with children – when kids have a lot of energy, take them outside, run them around, and when they come back inside, they are much more receptive about doing academic work. Well said Jack and Sam!

Thank you Jack, Sam, and Steaven for all of your hard work to give the children such a special summer full of learning and fun! 

(Above photo features: William, volunteer and former Literacy Program participant, Jack, Sam, Steaven, and some young participants.)



A special note of thanks for the volunteer service from three generations! This photo shows Jack with his mother, Sheryl (a Franciscan Charities Board Trustee), and his grandmother, Harriett. All three volunteered in the summer program. Thank you to a very special family!