April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
Good News comes to Hope Elementary School
Its students recently won "Best in State" in the prestigious Verizon App Challenge. And they were believed by school administrators to have performed well on the 2016 ISTEP+ standardized test, which ended last month.
Good news happens to good schools.
Now, some say the best news of all has come to Hope Elementary School: a newly formed, local division of the Good News Club.
Brenda Lucas, a founding member of the local organization, said about 40 children have been attending the club sessions from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays since the program began April 7th. They begin by meeting in the cafeteria for a snack, then go to the music room or library to learn Bible verses, talk about prayer and sing.
At a time other students are headed home on the bus, enrolled students are being asked to think big thoughts about their spirituality. She said the key is that the sessions are "fun and lively," which actually makes students want to come back.
"We go-go-go," she said.
Students are divided by age group. The ones in Grades 1-3 have their own session, and the ones in Grades 4-6 have theirs. A total of 19 volunteers representing six churches in the school district run the program, some behind the scenes in clerical or other such capacities and some as part up-front instructors, depending on their strengths. Others' contributions are more of the in-kind variety, with donations of snacks and supplies to sustain the program from week to week.
Every student already has received a free Bible as part of that generosity.
But none of it would be possible without the parent organization that started the ministry, the Child Evangelism Fellowship. Founded in 1937, the organization offers supporting materials and visual-heavy lesson plans for local chapters throughout the country. Its motive, according to the cefonline.com website, is to "evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and establish (disciple) them in the Word of God."
Bridget Back, director of the regional chapter that covers 16 counties, said she is thrilled to see a Good News Club land in Hope.
"It's neat to see churches working together like they are here," she said.
Families don't pay a dime for their children to participate in the local program, perhaps contributing to the local local club's growth from 34 enrolled initially to 52 as of Saturday, Lucas said. If growth continues at the pace they expect, organizers in the next session will need to add at least 10 new volunteers to its ranks and grow its number of groups to three, split into Grades 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6.
The current session ends May 12th; the next session starts in September.
Anyone interested in volunteering or enrolling their children should call Lucas at 812-372-4589.
"Whatever skills you have, we can use you," Lucas said. She said the local club needs not only instructors, but also music leaders, counselors and others. All need to go through training as established by the Child Evangelism Fellowship to ensure they are qualified are ready to help guide students to a more Christ-centered future.[[In-content Ad]]
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