HOPEbriefs | Your Teachers Do What?

Tony could not contain himself.

“I’m so excited,” he muttered before school, squirming and fidgeting in his seat. “I’m so excited,” he repeated, strumming his fingers on his desk, still wiggling. “I’m so excited!” he exclaimed, nearly bouncing out of his seat.

What had Tony so fired up? Fifth grade boys night!

Each year, our fifth grade teachers throw a pizza party and night out for the boys, and one for the girls. For students who sometimes never leave the few block radius in which they live and attend school, a trip to the giant indoor play place at Edina’s Edinborough Park feels like another planet. And it allows them to just be kids.

“Some students experience such deep hardship at such a young age,” explained fifth grade teacher Mr. Roff. “Last week for example, students were sharing how painful it is for them to not know their dads, or not have seen them in years.”

“It was so good to see them just running around, being lighthearted, playing together like kids should,” added Mr. Schumann, the other fifth grade teacher. “I love being able to connect with them outside of the classroom, and to see them enjoy good, clean fun with each other.”

As you can imagine, a night out with 20 fifth grade boys on top of a full week of teaching is exhausting. It’s a rare act of self-sacrificing love that has become the norm among our teachers. Regularly, I see a teacher going out of his way to pick up a student for morning tutoring; or having a student over for dinner weekly, to be part of a healthy home life; or taking elementary students to a jazz concert downtown; or spending summer months creating math games so enjoyable that second graders cry when they can’t play them!

​John admonished Jesus’ followers not to love only “in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).  That’s what changes lives and hearts.

Thank you for helping to make this life-changing love possible for our students.


One of the most valuable ways you can help us grow Hope is by sharing it with your friends!


Each month, we host a one-hour Tour of Hope to help people catch a vision and passion for what God is doing in our city, through Hope.


Like us on Facebook to stay up to date with student activities and upcoming events!


Hope Academy exists because of the sacrifices made by hundreds of donors who share a passion for urban youth. Get in on the joy!