Public and private schools play an important role within our community. For many families, the school systems are a source of hope and encouragement. Many families will turn to the school system for aid before reaching out to a local church. Kids will talk to counselors when they are struggling and families will reach out to the administration when they are in need. Admittedly, there are some major flaws with our current education system. There are also some great qualities that the church can and should champion. Our goal this year is to come along side 5-7 public schools and partner with them.  Our goal in partnership is simply to help them help others. So what does a partnership look like? How do we as a church partner with these schools? 
First, there are three areas that we want to focus on in our partnership. These are the three areas that we want to be a blessing to. 


MOBILIZE OUR FAMILIES:  Leverage parents to be champions in their child’s local school.  Instead of the church creating another program or event, we will leverage our “invested” families to build relationships and provide needed support to the local schools. You can read more about the specific ways YOU could be the answer HERE.

SERVE: We want to look for simple ways to meet the needs of our schools. 

  • Church Wide Campaigns: At least two times a year FBCJAX will do church wide campaigns to meet the needs of kids/families and the faculty. This could be providing backpacks and supplies for underprivileged kids, or shoes for kids who can’t afford them. We will also bless the faculty twice a year. This could be with back to school teacher supplies, coffee gift cards, or a Kona Ice party for all teachers.
  • ServeJAX Projects: Throughout the year we will leverage our ServeJAX projects to help improve the school facility. Working with school administration to determine their needs and resourcing our families and talents to meet those needs. 
  • Be Available: Finally, our family ministry staff is always available to help the school or families in any way possible. From leading parenting workshops, FCA, teacher workshops, or just praying for our local schools. 
If we want to have healthier schools then we have to have healthier kids and families, healthier faculty and better facilities. If we want to have better communities its starts by having healthier schools. We believe that “small things done with great love can change the world in great ways” (unknown author). We are not trying to tell school systems how to do their job (they are the experts) or force God back into the school system. We want simply love our schools with Gospel love of Jesus. Meet their needs and love them where they are. I believe that in order to have a voice you have to have a relationship. Too often we try to have a voice in the culture without having a relationship. 
How have you been able to partners with schools? What are some of the needs that you see that you/we could help meet? 


Why it’s valuable to be involved at your child’ school.

Are you currently involved at your child’s school? What if one of the most practical ways to show the love of God to our community was by you being involved at your child’s or children’s schools? 

If your family is anything like mine, it’s very easy to rush out the door in the morning with my son heading to school, swing through the kiss and drop lane (drop off), and not think about his school until it’s time to pick him back up. Of course I think about my son during the day. But do I think about the place and people that are helping shaping the person he will become? 
My wife was an educator prior to staying home with our two boys. I know first hand the struggles and challenges educators face on a day to day basis. As a result, our church is constantly looking for ways to bless our community and to help make it a little bit better. 
Here is the question that I have been wrestling with this summer… “What is the best method for showing the love of Jesus to our schools and community?” What if the most effective method was not a method at all. What if it was not another program or another budget line item? What if the solution was a person or a group of people? 
Pastor Jason once said, “If you want to know where God is calling you to serve, look where your feet are”. This is a great statement that should be a reminder that sometimes God wants to use you right where your are. Or maybe, where your kids are. 
This year our church, FBCJAX is partnering with 5 local schools. We want to be a blessing to the schools, the facility and to the families. We want their teachers to enjoy working at their school and families to love for their kids to go attend. We want to come alongside the administration and help honor the families and the teachers. So how do we do this???
The answer is simple… YOU! We want to mobilize our families to be present on their child’s school campus. When I met with our partnership schools, each principal stated that their greatest need was, “volunteers”, “good volunteers”. They need YOU! They need good parents to be apart of their PTO, to proctor tests, to monitor lunch room (so the teachers can have a break), to judge senior projects and to simply be available. They simply need YOU to say YES. They need you to say yes to whatever their need may be. Here are a few ways you can be a blessing and help us partner with our local schools.
BE AVAILABLE: Meet with the teacher, coach or school administrator to let them know they have a champion on their side who is willing to be available for whatever they need. Most teachers meet with parents for disciplinary reasons. Being available will be a great relief and could establish trust over time. Trust could lead to influence.
BE PRESENT: The more time parents are on campus the more they can be an encouragement to the staff and build trust. time + trust = influence. Including but not limited to, PTA, sub teaching, lunch room monitors before schools, proctors and office helper. As parents, we need to be present where our kids spend their time. Once we are available and present then we can have an influence.
As you prepare for your child or children to go back to school this year, will you consider reaching out to their schools and simply say, “how can I help you?” Will you say YES?

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