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Back to School

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Twelve years ago God used a staff book study to open our eyes to His call to impact the community around us. He called us to “build a community to reach a community”. One of the main avenues for our church to connect with the neighborhood around us has been through serving at Keyser School. On August 18 we begin our eleventh year in service to the families of our neighborhood through our partnership with Keyser. We kicked off the new school year last Sunday with a visit from Dennis and Liz Tracy who head the Kid’s Club ministry in the Toledo area. It was great to hear from the Tracy’s about the impact that Kid’s Clubs are having in the 20 schools that have a club in our area. We also enjoyed having Maria, a Keyser parent, and her children here to tell us how Kid’s Club at Keyser has impacted her kids.

As we begin a new school year let me lay out the many opportunities there are for how people can connect with our mission to reach the community in our neighborhood through serving at Keyser.

  • Tutoring: This has been one of our primary ways to serve at the school. We provide reading tutors for the kindergarten – 3rd grade classrooms. Tutoring requires a weekly commitment of one hour per week during the school day (9am-3pm) from October – May. We will take your availability and work to match it with a classroom’s schedule. No training is necessary. The teachers provide the instructions. Tutoring is a great way to build relationships with a few kids and with the teachers, as well as provide encouragement and support to kids who need it.
  • Prayer Walks: Once a week we walk through the halls before school begins and pray for God’s blessing on the staff and students. We then end at the flag pole and pray with any of the staff members who choose to join us. Our prayer walk takes place on Wednesday mornings at 7:45 – 8:20. This is a great way for people to participate in ministry before starting their work day.
  • Kid’s Club: A weekly after-school Bible club for kids in 1st-5th grades. We do a fall and a spring session and each session ranges from 8 – 10 weeks depending on the school calendar. We have held the club on Thursday and will do so again this year based on room availability. The club runs from 3:15-4:30. Club time consists of memorizing Bible verses, a Bible lesson, songs, games, and occasionally a craft – it’s like an after-school VBS! Children new to the club will receive their own Bible. We have found that the kids really love looking up Bible verses and reading them aloud, so this year we want to provide small group time with the kids and give them more opportunity to get into the Bible, if we have enough adults to help. This is a great way to share the Gospel with kids, help them grow in the Lord, and build relationships with them.
  • School Supply Pantry: Once a month throughout the school year we open the pantry doors for teachers from Keyser, Reynolds, and Hawkins Schools. The teachers get whatever supplies they need for their classrooms. In a school district that has a large number of students from homes experiencing poverty, providing school supplies to the teachers has alleviated the strain on their personal finances.  There are opportunities to serve in the pantry on the second Wednesday of the month from 3:00-5:00 pm or in ways that don’t require set hours such as helping with inventory, stocking the pantry, shopping, or computer data entry of utilization. This has been an incredible blessings to the teachers and has provided us with a way to partner with other churches in ministry to the schools and community.
  • Special Events: Throughout the school year we provide support and people to help with various events at the school in the evening – the Kindergarten Holiday program and Bingo Literacy Night are just a few of these events. This year we are adding three breakfast events to help connect with parents. We want to help the school promote and provide positive family events. If you work during the day and cannot tutor these events throughout the year provide a way to participate in our ministry to our neighborhood in the evening or early morning. We also serve at events during the school day such as Honors Awards programs and Field Day.

We have been blessed in order that we bless others (Genesis 12:2-3) and God has used our partnership with Keyser school to bless teachers, students and families in our neighborhood.  We glorify God by building a community that is reaching a community. May I encourage you to find a place to be a part of this mission God has called us to.  To be involved in any of these areas of service to Keyser School fill out the form below or contact Mary Brack 419-535-0060, ext 112 or mbrack.justgrace@gmail.com.

Two upcoming events will kick-off ministry in the schools:

  • Sunday, August 21 3:30-5:00pm Return 2016 – Back to School Prayer Event at The Pinnacle in Maumee. TPS superintendent Dr. Durant and a panel of principals will share what God has done in the schools. We will pray for the schools and commission school personnel for the coming school year.
  • Thursday, September 15 7:00pm Kid’s Club Kick-off at the Proclaim FM Event Center in Holland. An evening to hear stories, get training and learn more about the Kid’s Club ministry.

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