Jarvis Hodges

Jarvis Hodges, 23, has attended the HYPE Freedom School at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church since he was a little boy. Now, he gladly serves as a volunteer and teaches a group of young boys.

"I have never had the privilege to attend a true summer camp, but then I went to HYPE and I learned so much. I learned that reading is not always boring," said Jarvis. He is motivated to help teach them how to read. "When I'm helping the kids out, I do not sugarcoat anything. I noticed what helps the kids want to learn is to see their completed work hanging on the walls. This makes them so happy. I hang all of their drawings so that they can see what they did and be proud of it. We also like to sing to the kids too. Singing helps them understand that whatever they go through at home, it is all put aside here."

Jarvis believes the problem with illiteracy in Houston is that the kids do not want to learn how to read because the material is not interesting. "Growing up, I was one of the kids from this community. If a teacher brought me a science book and put it in front of me, I would just look at them. But if the teacher would have brought me something that I thought was fascinating, like football or cars, I would have wanted to read it," said Jarvis.