(Letter to the Editor submitted by Adam Will.)
As a pastor and member of a local school board, I get excited for back to school. I am moved to pray for these children to grow in their love of education and watch them take their first steps into a foundation of lifelong success.
It seems that nearly half of our congregation at Mt. Hermon Church are educators, or are employed by the education system. This has encouraged our church’s passion to be involved in the lives of children, especially those children at risk in our community. It is critical to be there for these kids and to show love and compassion to those who do not get that at home.
I would encourage other churches to make a commitment of their time to engage with the schools, to ask what we can provide to the education system. There is a movement of churches across the nation speaking up and out, with organizations like Shepherding the Next Generation, to care for kids.
Local churches, ours included, provide help to Eagle Packs to kids on free and reduced lunch to children who may need a little extra food throughout the week. Others provide reading volunteers to students in the second grade or midweek programs geared towards students. But it is not something the church has the capacity to handle alone.
I would like to thank State Sen. Peterson and Rep. Ryan Smith for their encouragement of early education. The funding mechanism and quality of curriculum is a critical piece to reaching children. To care for children is IMPORTANT to the future of our nation and to the next generation.