'Project Transformation' to offer program at Scenic Hills United Methodist Church in Raleigh/Frayser


Project Transformation is a ministry whereby college-age young adults commit to a nine-week paid summer internship to lead a day camp for up to 80 children and youth. (Submitted photo)

Project Transformation Tennessee, a United Methodist-affiliated ministry that provides summer and after-school programs to more than 700 children across Tennessee, will expand to the Raleigh/Frayser community this summer, where it will serve approximately 70 children at Scenic Hills United Methodist Church (UMC). 
Project Transformation launched its Memphis program in 2016, first operating sites at Centenary and Longstreet UMCs. Since that time, a local Advisory Council of church and community leaders has worked to discern how and when the unique program would expand.
“As we approach our third summer of programming, we know that Project Transformation is a model that works in Memphis” said the Rev. Renee Dillard, director of Memphis Programs at Project Transformation Tennessee. “We celebrate the success of 99 percent of our participants maintaining or improving their reading levels, and yet we know that 79 percent of third graders in Shelby County are still reading below grade level. The need is great, and we can do more.”
Scenic Hills UMC has been a community gathering place for 60 years and is perfectly situated to reach children in both the Raleigh and Frayser communities of North Memphis. With strong pastoral and lay leadership, a missional readiness, and hearts for loving God and neighbor, the church is preparing to live into this new opportunity.
“I see Project Transformation coming alongside our parents and schools as a key community program which helps secure solid reading skills that establish a solid foundation upon which our children can build a bright future,” said Rev. Brad Thomas, pastor at Scenic Hills UMC.
This summer, Project Transformation will serve 210 children through the ministry of 26 young adults in the Memphis Conference. In addition to the new location, Project Transformation will continue partnering with Centenary UMC in South Memphis and Longstreet UMC in Whitehaven. 
Project Transformation is currently inviting existing and new partner churches to learn how they can support and partner in this mission, especially in this season of growth. All churches are invited to attend the upcoming Partner Church meeting at 6:30pm on April 19 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Memphis. Here, churches will learn about opportunities to serve, including providing volunteer readers, meals, books and other supplies.   
“We give thanks for our United Methodist connection and for the powerful ways God is working through our partner churches, community partners, volunteers, and young adult interns, says Dillard. “We give thanks for the transformation that happens when God works through God’s people!”
The mission of Project Transformation is to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry, support children in holistic development, and connect churches with communities.
To learn more about Project Transformation, visit www.pttennessee.org or call 901-567-8049.