The Micah Initiative

In 2003, The Jewish Coalition for Literacy, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and several other faith communities joined together to create The Micah Initiative. The Micah Association is a partnership program of faith communities and the Richmond Public School system dedicated to enhancing the lives of children in metropolitan Richmond, as well as supporting their parents, teachers, and school administrators. The Association works specifically with the most disadvantaged Richmond youth. Children involved in the program come from families with the lowest income, the lowest literacy level, and the highest degree of emotional and situational stress. Since Richmond Public School resources are extremely limited, the Micah Initiative lends a helping hand. Volunteers from various congregations are trained by the Virginia Mentoring Partnership as mentors and tutors, and they spend an average of 45 minutes a week with the same child. It should also be noted that it is a fundamental understanding of the mentoring community that educational benefits extend to adults and children equally.

The partnership has developed to include 46 faith communities working with 26 Richmond elementary schools. Richmond Hill, an ecumenical Christian retreat center, provides the non-profit base for small grants which support the part-time coordinators of the Association. The Association meets quarterly and has its own steering committee. The 46 community groups currently participating in the partnership include: 31 st St Baptist, All Saints Episcopal, All Souls Presbyterian, Ebenezer Baptist, First Presbyterian, Fifth Baptist, First Unitarian Universalist, Fourth Baptist, Good Shepherd Baptist, Hindu Center of Virginia, Holy Comforter Episcopal, Huguenot Road Baptist, Northside Outreach Center, Reville United Methodist, Richmond Jewish Coalition for Literacy, River Road Baptist, Riverview Baptist, Riverside Baptist, St. Claire Episcopal, St. Edwards Catholic, St. Elizabeth Catholic, St. James Episcopal, St. John United Church of Christ, St. Luke Lutheran, St. Marks Episcopal, St. Mathias Episcopal, St. Michaels Episcopal, St. Paul’s Baptist, St. Paul’s Episcopal, St. Stephen’s Episcopal, St. Philip’s Episcopal, St. Thomas Episcopal, Second Presbyterian, Trinity Baptist, Trinity United Methodist, Woodville Presbyterian, Mt. Pisgah United Methodist, New Deliverance Evangelistic, Spring Creek Baptist, The Virginia Muslim Coalition, West Broad Street Church of Christ, Wesley Memorial United Methodist, Westover Hills Methodist.

The Micah Initiative
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Profile Prepared by Julie Philp
March, 2007