Starting in January, Indianola Academy will begin a program that is called Hope for Kids! It is a program/ curriculum that teaches children about their faith and about how to share their faith. It will be focusing on 4th and 5th graders. Several Delta schools are currently using the program and the participants are raving about the connections that are being made between adult volunteers and the students, the children’s willingness to share their faith, and the impact the program is having on individual lives.
Tag Reed, the coordinator for Hope for Kids in the Delta, was looking for someone to head up the program at Indianola Academy. The elementary principal, Sylvia Spivey, and I went to the training in October and set off to organize what it will take to make it happen at IA as soon as possible. We didn’t want the current 5th graders to miss it!
We have narrowed the year long material to a 16 week curriculum for this year and aim to start on January 15th. A typical meeting will include: A fun welcome, a review of last week’s lesson (students will learn hand motions to explain the gospel, as well as memorize 11 verses that will help them understand the gospel.) Each week the students will have a take home craft that they are asked to share with someone in their lives- we start each meeting with students having a chance to tell about how they shared that take home craft. They will then learn a new aspect of the gospel (sin/ God’s holiness/Jesus/ Free gift of eternal life/ saving faith) through hand motions and skits and stories. We will then break into small groups of 4 students per adult volunteer. This time is so valuable! The students work in pairs to learn their verses. Each student will have a booklet for his or her crafts. These crafts and activity pages will be done in the small group. Then the adult volunteer prays with the children and they return to the big group for a final review and goodbye.
The 4th an 5th grade have over 70 students when combined- so we NEED 18 ADULT VOLUNTEERS that will commit to coming 16 time to invest in these students.
I have 7 already and am praying that the Lord will send 11 more, so that we can work with both the 4th and 5th grade.
It is my job to make sure the volunteers feel prepared and that all the material is ready for them. I am currently organizing each of the craft boxes, props, materials, notebooks,etc that need to be used starting Jan 15th. Since the program is brand new, all the materials must be gathered. We have been blessed by donations that covered 13 of the 18 boxes that we need. I will continue to visit area churches and groups to talk about the program and see who can participate, either by volunteering or by donation for the materials.
I cannot tell you how excited I am for this to come to IA. I can’t wait for my own children to have a chance to learn the material- I want them to see that large group of adults who love the Lord and are willing to be there to invest in them. Discipleship takes time- growth comes by feeding and watering and waiting and the repeating that all over again. I know the commitment is a big one, but the investment will produce fruit that far outweighs the time given.