SAN ANGELO, Texas- Jennifer Lisson noticed something happening with kids dealing with family issues and going through child protective services and the foster care system. Many of these children were falling behind in their education. Lisson reached out to teachers and authorities to get these kids help, but was met with discouragement. There isn’t enough time and there isn’t enough to provide more one-on-one teaching for kids who are already struggling with personal issues.
After talking to her husband, Lisson formed a new initiative. The WHIT Program, Weekly Hands-on Individual Tutoring, pairs volunteer tutors with kids who are in the foster care program. The main subjects of focus are around reading and mathematics.
The WHIT Program was named after Lisson’s daughter, Whitney Thompson, who was a philanthropist and humanitarian before she was killed by a drunk driver in August 2011. Years later, Jennifer reflects on how her late daughter, as well as her husband and step-daughter, continue to push her to be the best version of herself.
Even though the program is still in its beginning stages, there has been national attention already on the horizon, where other advocacy centers are looking to have the program come to their area. One center in Massachusetts has already inquired about getting the WHIT program started in their state.
While Lisson is honored to have attention drawn already, she continues to work hard to make sure everything is smooth sailing, so children in foster care can continue to receive the education they deserve.
Volunteers are always welcome. For more information about the WHIT Program, visit whitprogram.org. To learn how to get involved with the Children’s Advocacy Center and their other programs, visit cacgreaterwtx.org.