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MARCH 29, 2018

Project Transformation Tennessee will expand to the Raleigh/Frayser community of North Memphis this summer, where it will serve approximately 70 children at Scenic Hills United Methodist Church.

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. 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 the Rev. Brad Thomas, pastor at Scenic Hills United Methodist Church.

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.

“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 the Rev. Renee Dillard. “We give thanks for the transformation that happens when God works through God’s people!”