School Half Days Mean New Ministry for Harbert Church

Post a Comment » Written on December 11th, 2003     
Filed under: News
HARBERT, MI (December 11, 2003)  – It’s a dilemma that many parents of  school-aged children face – what to do with their children when schools  have a half day.

Harbert Community Church has found a new way to meet that need – by  hosting an after-school program for elementary students when the school  has half days.

Fifteen times, the church will provide children in grades 1-5 with  activities when school ends early, said pastor Joel Kruggel. So far, the  church has hosted five “half-day programs.” A number of retired  parishioners, including former teachers, dance instructors, musicians  and others, are among more than 60 volunteers helping coordinate  activities for 49 students.

The program operates from about 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m on half days,  with activities including a snack lunch (which the family sends with the  child), a reading time, an exercise period, crafts, music, and even  introductory foreign language modules. The cost to the church is about  $50 per half day.

Volunteers have been teaching kids French, Spanish, Dutch, German and  Swedish, said Kruggel. They range from 12-year-old Luke Linscheid and  some high-school students to 81-year-old Jane Temple, a lay leader from  the church’s mission committee. Associate pastor Kent Lindquist is  assisting the coordination of the program. Adults who come to pick up  children must register inside the church, which has allowed parishioners  to get to know some of the parents/guardians/relatives of the children.

“We tried to divide the kids up in groups (K-5th grade) and move them  around the church,” said Lindquist. “We had my father talk about working  with tools and another lady talked about spinning. We’ve had music  modules and singing, time to do homework, time to play ping pong and  board games. We’re not doing anything ‘religious,’ although we’re  certainly living examples of Christianity.

Lindquist continued, “It’s been a real safe place for the kids and we’ve  gotten people into the building that have never been in a church in  their life. And the adults who volunteer are getting to know some of  these people. At least 20 volunteers are here at the church during part  of the day and some volunteer for the whole afternoon. You’re exhausted  by the end of the day but it’s awesome. It’s wonderful.”

“It’s been a great community outreach,” said Kruggel. “It’s fitting a  great community need and it has been so well put together.”

For more information on Harbert Community Church and its half-day  program, call Lindquist at 262-426-4321.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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