About our Program:
ARISE2Read of Walker County is a partnership of evangelical churches, businesses, and civic clubs with local school districts to strengthen 2nd-grade students and enable them to enter third grade reading on grade level.
ARISE2Read takes an active role in the development of children in our public schools through the presence of volunteers focused on literacy. Our volunteers serve for 1 hour a week during the school day supporting two 2nd-grade students, one each for 30 minutes using a simple sight word approach. We also provide books for the students to enhance literacy.
We tutor 2nd-grade students, not just to invest in their reading skills but to impact them for life. These consistent weekly sessions with the same adult provides them with encouragement and support that makes them feel valued and empowered. You can make a lifetime of difference for a child by spending just one hour per week.
Schools we are currently serving:
Meet the Leadership:
Executive Director Holly McMichael
I was born and raised in Huntsville, graduated from Huntsville High School, and moved to Waco to pursue a degree in Secondary Education with a specialty in English from Baylor University. From there, I accepted a position as a high school English teacher at Mesquite High School in the Dallas area. I have taught high school, junior high, and most recently, before becoming Executive Director of Arise2Read, elementary school.
My husband BJ and I grew up together in our church youth group at University Heights Baptist Church, remained good friends through college, and fell in love when he became one of the student ministers at the church where I was serving in Mesquite. We have been married since 2001, love serving alongside each other in ministry, and have two amazing children, Elijah and Trinity.
In May 2017, we heard about Arise2Read at a conference in Dallas and were moved to bring it to Huntsville. I call it my “for such a time as this” moment, (Esther 4:14, NIV). I am so incredibly passionate about this ministry that serves students and their families, teachers--my personal heroes, and our community that I decided to leave the classroom to oversee it. God continues to bless this ministry and the hearts and lives of those who serve in it. My whole family is grateful to be part of the mission:
Save a Child. Save a Family. Save a City.
Meet the Board:
I am honored to serve as our Arise2Read board president, as this dream has been one my wife and I have shared since the beginning. I am also on staff at University Heights Baptist Church, where I serve as Minister of Students and Outreach.
I am married to Holly McMichael, our Arise2Read Executive Director, and we have two amazing children. I am an avid sports fan (Astros, Cowboys, Rockets/Mavericks, and ALL THINGS Sam Houston State University). However, watching my children's sports teams play is my absolute favorite. I consider it a privilege to be an advocate for children at every age and stage.
My name is Karen Owens, and I am a retired Parole Officer. I have lived in Huntsville since 1998 and graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Being a part of Arise2Read has been and is one of the greatest accomplishments in my life.
I wholeheartedly believe in the program and see the difference it is making in Huntsville Independent School District.
I have served with Arise2Read since we first launched the pilot program. I am currently serving as the A2R Secretary and a reading coach at Scott Johnson Elementary. Before moving back to Huntsville in 2016, I founded Blueline After School, a nonprofit organization and program serving students in inner city Chicago.
I have recently joined the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee with the Texas Foster Care Association, as well as the Walker County Child Welfare Collaborative, Currently, I am the Area Director for Conroe and Huntsville at Grace Manor, a foster and adoptive agency. I am passionate about foster care, children's ministry, art, and cooking.
Originally from College Station, I obtained my Accounting and Finance degrees from Texas A&M University before earning my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and working as an audit associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. When my husband Chris joined the basketball program at Sam Houston State University, I began working for Anadarko Petroleum in the Woodlands, serving in both Accounting and Marketing roles. After our third child was born, I accepted a position as an Accounting Lecturer at SHSU.
My family and I love being in Huntsville and continue to look for ways to give back to the community. Arise2Read is the perfect organization for us to do our part in supporting the children and schools of the community.
I am a retired Justice of the Peace for Walker County. I was born and raised in Huntsville, and my husband Alton and I raised our own family here. I love everything Huntsville/Walker County and enjoyed serving in various capacities in my time there, but my husband and I recently moved to Beaumont to be near our grandchildren.
I have had the blessing of not only watching Arise2Read be birthed but also grow into a wonderful organization that truly is making a difference in the lives of everyone involved.
My wife Denise and I have been married for almost 46 years. We have two daughters and one son, and they have blessed us with seven grandkids. Before retiring, I was a State Trooper for 40 years. I also served on the Huntsville Independent School Board for 6 years from 2000-2006.
A successful life starts with faith and a good education. Arise2Read brings both to the table for all our children.
I moved to Huntsville, Texas over 32 years ago, after marrying my high school sweetheart Reginald. I am currently a retiree from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I have always had a love for seeing children succeed.
I have been involved with the Arise2Read program from the beginning stages, and I have seen the amazing results and blessing this program has been to Huntsville and me. To see a child excited about learning is indescribable.
I have been married to my husband Nelson for 28 years. We have a daughter and son-in-love Ashton and Aaron and a son Taylor. We are members at University Heights Baptist Church and serve together in the College Ministry. I have always loved working with children and served as the Children’s Minister at First Baptist Church Center, TX before becoming an educator. I taught for several years at a private school in Nacogdoches, TX before coming to Huntsville ISD.
For 18 years now, I have been at Scott Johnson Elementary as an academic coach, 2nd grade teacher, and now, a 3rd grade math and science teacher. I have been honored to be part of the initial vision and planning team for Arise2Read in Huntsville, but I have also experienced the blessings as a 2nd grade teacher who has had students in this program.
Bio coming soon.