after school tutoring |
Mission Statement: Avenue exists to stir churches to take action and open its doors throughout the week to support the next generation academically and spiritually.
Our desire is to see churches reach out to students in their neighborhood throughout the week to tutor, mentor and empower them to fulfill their purpose. We desire for the members of the church to speak powerfully into their lives to declare the truth that each child deserves an opportunity to be academically successful. We want to integrate churches the way the schools are integrated, bringing diversity and racial reconciliation to the local church.
Check out a clip of some of the students who inspired us in 2019 our pilot location in Bradenton.
Public school students who get support outside of school and get one-on-one attention are many times more likely to be academically successful and have more confidence than the students who have no one-on-one support.
Tutoring and mentoring impacts more than just academics. It impacts self-esteem, character development and a child's sense of worth and value.
Young people are hungry for truth in a generation swirling with confusion and deception.
As people grown increasingly wary of the media's scare tactics and contradictions, may the church rise up to share a foundation on which this generation can stand. May we be found teaching our young people what it means to rise above challenges. May we rise up in boldness and courage to persevere in fostering academic success and achieving potential. Let us be found faithful in reaching out to those who need help and support. Let us encourage the downtrodden and strengthen the weak by providing the space and encouragement this generation needs.
This generation is falling behind academically due to the pandemic and the economic crisis that has followed. Let's change that together...
Avenue recognizes that the church "lacks no good thing"
and has the answer to each need in our communities.
In February of 2019, tens of thousands of Christians gathered in Orlando as a variety of ministries beckoned the Church to wage war on inaction. Hearts of believers around the country were provoked to take action in the areas of adoption, fostering, public high schools, our neighborhoods and in the nations.
Avenue was birthed with the vision to see the church rise up to be the answer to each of those needs.
Four young women met the summer of 2019 at a leadership training school in Orlando called 21 Project and put all the ideas of this together as they shared hearts to see homelessness end, the drop-out rate decrease and to see young hearts burn with zeal for the gospel. One of the founding women is from Detroit where the Soar Detroit program is seeing churches meet the need of struggling students who have low academic achievement by increasing literacy as an avenue for involvement. Two founding members are from Bradenton, where one has mentored and tutored a girl from age 5 to age 9 and has seen generational curses and lies break off her life as she went from a student who was failing kindergarten to a student beginning fourth grade on the principal's list for straight A’s.
Students around the country need hope as they suffer through extreme challenges like having parents in addiction, family members who are incarcerated, living in poverty and lacking the academic skills to propel them up and out of that life. In addition, many American families have left the church and this generation knows little about the gospel and the power of knowing Christ and being known by Him.
Avenue941 is the initial launch of this dream as we rally churches in Palmetto, Bradenton and Sarasota. It is our hope that there will be an "avenue" initiative all across the nation and in many other area codes.
MEET OUR TEAM
Brenda was a middle school teacher at Electa Lee Middle in Bradenton from Dec 2015- June 2021. She taught 8th grade Language Arts for over ten years and has her MAT from UNCC. She believes that her role as a teacher was to speak truth and inspire the next generation to break off the chains of conformity and walk in the freedom that Christ has called them into. She founded Avenue941 with the hope that every student in Manatee County would have access to a caring adult to support them academically, emotionally and spiritually.
Unite Us Platform Supervisor and Family Services Liaison
Katie Wilcox and Brenda Critchfield met at the 21Project school in summer of 2019 where Avenue was born and Katie is the one who came up with the name Avenue! Katie grew up in Massachusetts where she was a Family Life Intern and youth group leader at her home church. Her degree is Child and Family Services from Messiah University in PA. After graduating, she moved to Delaware to work at a medical day care and helped children with various diagnoses reach their highest level of development through play. She has volunteered with various grief support groups and is moving to South Carolina to work with children with autism and/or related disabilities. She cares about the mental and emotional well being of children and families and wants every child to know they are loved by God and have a unique purpose.
Oneco United Methodist Church;
Diana Palacio grew up in Miami, Florida but in her early twenties she moved with her husband to new York city for a new adventure. She and her family served in the IHOP-EG in NJ for more than eight years. During her time there she discipled, taught, and worked with young adults and teenagers.. In May of 2021 the family moved to Sarasota, Florida where Diana has the opportunity to assist her husband and son as they lead a discipleship and tutoring after school program in Booker Middle School through the Sarasota House of Prayer. Diana’s passion has always been to lead young ones to the beauty of Jesus and to help them see their worth and potential in Him through The Scriptures.
Resonate Life Church
Karson was born and raised in Sarasota, Fl and came to know Christ as his Lord and Savior about 5 years ago. His heart is for people of all ages to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ and to welcome Him into their lives. He has worked with youth and young adults for about 3 years and truly enjoys seeing the young generation have a foundation that is Christ centered. He currently works for the Sarasota House of Prayer and has been connected to them for about 3 years.
He displays the servant-heart of Christ with confidence and boldness and we are grateful for the things he will impart into the next generation because of his “yes” to Jesus.
First Baptist Church
Jessica was born in Florida and has moved around a lot in her life. She recently moved back to Florida from Kansas City Missouri where she received her Bachelors Degree in Intercultural Studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She returned to her home Church here in Florida at First Baptist Church of Bradenton now working alongside them as a Ministry Intern.
At a young age God called Jessica to Himself where she acknowledged the simple, yet powerful truth of the Gospel- that she is a sinner in need of a loving, Just and Holy God, who sent His perfect Son to atone for her sin- past, present and future, and by His grace through faith gives ever-lasting life to those who would repent of there sins and believe in Him as the Savior and risen Messiah. Jessica is passionate about community, fellowship and teaching the Word. Some of her hobbies and interests include sports, fitness, creative writing, singing and outdoor activities to name a few. She is humbled and thankful to serve and work alongside Avenue 941 in support of the church providing the needs for the community and putting hope within reach.
Gulf Coast Church
Randy grew up in Flint, MI and Jessica grew up in Colorado Springs, CO. In 2014, they met at Nazarene Bible College in Colorado and started dating. They got married in 2017, and moved to Michigan for 5 years where Randy was a pastor at Imlay City Church of the Nazarene and Jessica was a School Counselor. When the Lord opened a door in Bradenton, Fl they felt the Lord leading them on a new journey. They are now the Youth Pastor and Children's Director at Gulf Coast Church.