Panda’s Progress

The Panda is the Mascot of Morris Elementary School, which is a Title 1 school on Bob Wallace here in Huntsville. Morris is in a culturally and racially diverse neighborhood where over 95% of the residents live below the poverty line. Latham UMC reaches out to this neighborhood and to the children at Morris to help fulfill our mission to support and act in solidarity with the poor and powerless among us. For more information contact Doug Seay at 256-883-7108 or at

Parade of Readers: This is a reading program designed to convince every first grader at Morris
Elementary School that reading is surely the most wonderful thing in the world! During this
eight week period lasting from late January through mid March each year, a number of special
“Reading Buddies” volunteer to help and listen to the children read in small groups. Also, a
series of local dignitaries (Special Guest Readers) read to the entire class together and interact
with the children as they emphasize the value and fun of reading. Volunteers also help tabulate
reading progress data and hang colorful signs of that progress where everyone can appreciate
those advances! Volunteers are urgently needed in all areas described here; contact Doug at 256-
883-7108 or at

After School Tutoring: This is a program of tutoring after school for approximately one
hour twice a week where third graders are encouraged and inspired to excel academically by
volunteers who care deeply and share the love of God with two or three children throughout the
year. Volunteers are urgently needed as reading and math buddies for these wonderful children
as described here; contact Doug at 256-883-7108 or at

Weekend Backpack Food: Every six weeks volunteers gather in Latham’s sanctuary and pack
bags with nutritious food suitable for small children to feed themselves over the weekend days
when free school breakfasts and lunches are unavailable. Then each week a Latham volunteer
delivers one weeks supply of bags to the school before the end of the school day Thursday so the
teachers can distribute them to the children on Friday. Volunteers also regularly purchase foods
that are needed but not donated yet and still others maintain tracking data required by the Food
Bank of North Alabama. Donations of food or cash are needed and volunteers are needed in all
areas described here; contact Doug at 256-883-7108 or at