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Readers to Leaders

Readers to Leaders Logo

A life changing campaign to support children in your community, across Michigan, and in Liberia.

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:1-4

Readers to Leaders flyer

Download A-B-C promotion

Click on the image above to download an information sheet you can use as a poster, flyer, or folded in half as a bulletin insert.  The document is in color and can also be duplicated in black & white.


Your congregation can mail a check to the Conference Treasurer, 1161 East Clark Road, Suite 212 DeWitt MI 48820, with the phrase "Readers to Leaders Campaign Acct #4415" in the memo.  You can also make individual donations online by clicking here. 

Ways to raise $600

• A special offering
• Hold a meal
• Create a “giving tree”
• Sell used books
• Rummage sale
• Silent auction
• Pop can return 
• Ask a member(s) to be a matching donor 
• Friendly competition between existing groups like UMW, UMM, Youth, committees, and teams 
• Host a 5K walk 
• Bake sale 
• Music concert 
• Divide the number of congregants into $600 and ask each congregant to give that amount (or some version of a direct ask)
• Create a photo booth and charge to have participants’ photos taken. 
• Car wash

Readers to Leaders Campaign Progress

$318,553 - As of May 15, 2024.  90% of our goal! THANK YOU!


At the 2022 Michigan Annual Conference, the body voted overwhelmingly to support the   "Readers to Leaders" fundraising campaign.  That goal was modified to $356,000 to reflect disaffiliation and closures of local churches. The campaign runs from September  10, 2022, to May 1, 2024 and has the goal of raising $356,000. These funds will support two ministries focused on education and we are asking local churches to create their own ministry relationship with a school in their community.

Questions can be directed to campaign co-leaders Lisa Batten, [email protected], and Jon Reynolds, [email protected]

Readers to Leaders Intro Video

This video can be downloaded.  Click here to access the video on VIMEO.

Liberia Scholarships

This video can be downloaded.  Click here to access the video on VIMEO.

CDF Freedom Schools

This video can be downloaded.  Click here to access the video on VIMEO.

Lunch and Learn Webinar

This video can be viewed and downloaded.  Click here to access the video on VIMEO.


Each congregation is challenged to raise at least $600.  These funds will support three ministry efforts:

A. Half of the funds will benefit the Liberia Scholarship Program of the Michigan Conference’s Liberia Ministry Partners.

B. Half of the funds will benefit the Michigan Conference’s Children Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program. 

C. Finally, we are asking local churches to  develop a missional commitment to a school in their own community.  That might be an in-gathering of school supplies, offering tutoring,  after school programs, or weekend food programs for at-risk students.


For more information

Lisa Batten [email protected]
Rev. Jon Reynolds [email protected]

Children at the Village in Liberia
Flint Freedom School 2020
Ministry with children includes hands and heart

Who you are helping


Freedom School Program

The Michigan Conference’s Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School Program currently operates two sites in Detroit: Second Grace UMC and two sites in Flint: Bethel UMC. The CDF Freedom Schools program is a six-week summer literacy and cultural enrichment program designed to serve children and youth in grades K–12 in communities where quality academic enrichment programming is limited, too expensive, or non-existent.

The CDF Freedom Schools foster environments that support children and young adults (known as “scholars” in the CDF Freedom Schools program) to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves and in their families, schools, communities, country, and world with hope, education, and action.

By providing K-12 scholars with rich, culturally relevant pedagogy and high-quality books that deepen scholars’ understanding of themselves and all they have in common with others in a multiracial, multicultural democratic society, CDF Freedom Schools programs further empower scholars to believe in their ability and responsibility to make a difference while instilling in them a love of reading to help them avoid summer learning loss.

The goal is to  increase the capacity of the Michigan Conference to continue to support and expand the number of children and youth served through new sites across the state of Michigan

Liberia Scholarship Program

Many people who live in Liberian communities earn less than a dollar a day.  Families must often choose if they can afford to send any of their children to school.  The Liberia Ministry Partners (formerly the Liberia Task Force) is establishing the Liberia Scholarship Program to celebrate the renewal of the covenant between the Liberia and Michigan Conferences.  The program aims to raise funds for 100 students for eight years of schooling and to support four of the most economically disadvantaged schools in Liberia by providing access to clean water, flush toilets, and new science, and computer labs.  Here are the four schools that will be supported.

• Anderson Weamah United Methodist School
• Gbloryee United Methodist School
• Janice Lee Mclain United Methodist School
• Sanniquellie United Methodist School

Local School Mission

There are many ways you can connect with your local schools to bring support to children, teachers, and adults in your community. For additional support or suggestions contact Rev. Kathy Pittenger.

• Lewis Center for Church Leadership -
             50 Ways to Engage Your Local Schools
             Engaging Local Schools guide
• Scholastic Literacy Partner Information
• The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships by Jake McGlothin

Last Updated on May 15, 2024

The Michigan Conference