Guest Author: Eddie Wright, Principal Hogan Preparatory Academy
What does it look like for the church to partner with local schools?
Answering this question is often hard. Many people don’t know how to best plug in to a school if they don’t personally have students enrolled. Christ Community has done a great job of helping connect individuals and groups from the church to local schools. This year, the Downtown Campus partnered with two local schools: Crossroads Academy – Central Street, and Hogan Preparatory Academy – High School.
What are some of the best ways for a church to support its local schools?
First and foremost, keep schools in prayer throughout the school year.
Second, supply drives throughout the course of the year are extremely beneficial. The Downtown Campus hosts several supply drives for each school. The goal is to be strategic with the timing of these drives: school supplies are naturally in highest demand at the beginning of the school year, then, as fall and winter approach, hats, gloves, scarves, and coats are very much needed for students who don’t own these items.
Third, another thoughtful way that church groups can support local schools is by providing treats for the teachers.
Here are a few examples of Christ Community’s support of these local schools through their Downtown Campus:
THANK YOU NOTES – recently the H3 men’s group of the Downtown Campus wrote thank you cards to each of the teachers at Crossroads Academy, and dropped off a bunch of snacks at their teacher’s lounge along with the cards.
GOODIE JARS – Cultivate Community women’s group gathered and filled goodie jars for the teachers at Crossroads Academy.
MEN’S NIGHT – the H3 men’s group hosted a Men’s Night at the Downtown Campus where they watched a football game, wrote thank you cards, and put together packs of supplies for teachers at Hogan Prep. A “Thank You” card for hard-working educators with some goodies goes a long way!
Of course, time is one of the most valuable resources provided to the school. School events throughout the year welcome volunteers in a short term capacity. Events like school carnivals, parent-teacher conferences, assemblies, and other one-time volunteer opportunities are great places to plug in, both individually and as a group.
Schools often have other places to volunteer with a deeper level of engagement. Examples of these volunteer positions would be a weekly reading mentor, a student leadership mentor, or even a regular lunchroom monitor. Typically, the goal is to involve a person or group in the school community in ways that highlight their strengths.
In short, schools partner with many local groups, agencies, and organizations, but too often this doesn’t include the local church. Christ Community’s Downtown Campus has done a great job of changing that narrative. While it can be challenging to work with students, it’s my hope that the few avenues mentioned here (prayer, school supply drives, etc.), paired with some small examples from what we are doing at the Downtown Campus, will encourage you to continue to press into partnerships with local schools.