Project Transformation

Amanda Ward

At least 250 million of the world's 650 million primary school age children are unable to read or write (38%).

How was it started/ created?

  • Founded in 1998 by Sarah Wilke and Dr. Leighton K. Farrell, two visionary leaders.
  • Their mission is to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry; support underserved children and families, and connect churches to communities in need. Dozens of other churches and organizations throughout Dallas partner together to support this work, including financially sponsoring PT Corps Members, bringing meals to PT Corps Members, and sending volunteers to the site churches to read one-on-one with the children.
  • The three C’s: Children, College Students, and Churches

Who’s Involved?

Project Transformation is led by an eleven-person staff, and manages after-school and summer programs consisting of over 100 PT Corps Members, over 1,100 children and youth, and more than 1,500 volunteers annually. We are passionate about serving the communities of the North Texas area.

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Three Challenges

  • 1) How to meet the academic, physical, and spiritual needs of low-income communities

  • 2) How to provide meaningful ways for college students to explore ministry opportunities and develop as young adult leaders for the church and the world.

  • 3) How to help

Where is it Located?

Project transformation isn’t just in Dallas; it is also located in parts of Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Rio Texas. I went to Project Transformation over the summer and the one that I served at was Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch.

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How can they help? What kinds of programs were created?

  • Elementary Literacy Program: after-school and summer day camp programs for elementary students. During the summer, each child is paired with a reading volunteer to read one-on-one each morning.

  • LITE (Leaders in Training Experience) for juniors and seniors in high school: High school students can apply to serve as LITEs each summer, volunteering to read with younger children and assisting with other day camp activities.


  • Annually, Project Transformation serves over 1,100 children and youth, grades 1-12, at ten summer sites and seven after-school sites.
  • In their 17 year history, the organization has equipped over 900 young adults for future leadership and has served over 7,000 children and youth.
  • 99% of children and youth in the summer of 2014 maintained or improved in their reading skills
  • 84% reported an increased confidence in reading pre- and post- assessment skills


“I have learned that God can do things that people can’t imagine” – Trinity 5th grade participant

“This program kept them active and motivated. They are much more positive and upbeat than they would have been without Project Transformation” – Chapel Hill parent

“Urban Camp has changed my attitude with others; interns have shown me how to treat other people nice and to be friendly. I feel like PT people are my family; always there for you and understands your situation.” – Michelle (16)

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Calender/ Dates

April 14th: Dallas Partner Church meeting

June 10th: First day of summer Program

July 29th: Last day of summer Program

What would I like to change?

I’d like to spread Project Transformation throughout the nation. Dallas has the most amounts of centers out of all other cities. If we can accomplish this, then we will most definitely lower the percentage of kids who do not know how to read or write.