CARING FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS

In Kent County there are approximately 566 churches, 191 public schools, and 28 charter schools.  According to the data provided by Kent School Services Network (KSSN), there are currently 50 churches that have partnership with Kent County schools representing 9 school districts and serving about 32 schools, through KSSN’s “Community Schools” model. 

It is the goal of the One West Michigan Education Team to help educate, link, and mobilize churches to partner with a local school and join in the work of helping children achieve their full potential.  We believe that we can make a difference in the lives of children, families, and school staff in West Michigan.

Objectives:

  • 100 pastors/church leaders meet with principals of their local school to have an initial introduction and learn about the unique assets and challenges of their school.
  • Engage a team of 5 volunteers at each church to work together to help address the challenges identified in the church leader/principal meet ups (which would ultimately be 500 people overall)
  • 100 churches commit to intentionally begin praying for their local school on a regular basis and listening to how God might be leading them to partner with this school. 

Goal: Increase the number of West Michigan church-school partnerships by 50 by September 2018, through engagement in services and opportunities already present in schools throughout West Michigan. 

Before & After School Programs

Resurgence (Bridge Street House of Prayer)

An after-school tutoring and discipleship program run in partnership with Bridge Street House of Prayer, Westwood Middle School, and Challenge Scholars. We focus on the academic, spiritual, and social development of our local middle school students.

Learn more: Visit their website here. | Get involved: Contact Ryan Waalkes and Kate Donald at info@bshop.org.

 

Youth for Christ West Michigan

Youth For Christ West Michigan - www.wmyfc.org  Dave Ramseyer, Chief Ministry Officer - dramseyer@wmyfc.org

Youth for Christ seeks to develop relationships with lost students ages 11-19 in local public schools, inner city neighborhoods and juvenile detention centers. Together, with ministry leader teams, we share the gospel in word and deed with kids all over our city. We desire to partner with the local church as we want students to be life-long followers of Jesus. Churches may provide ministry leaders and prayer support while YFC offers connections to the schools and great evangelism training. Want to know more? Please contact our Chief Ministry Officer Dave Ramseyer at dramseyer@wmyfc.org. Refer to these volunteer descriptions as needed.

 

National Heritage Academies

National Heritage Academies manages eleven charter schools in the West Michigan area. Each school serves Young 5’s/Kindergarten through eighth grade but varies in diversity and student enrollment. Our schools are focused on teaching an enriching college preparatory curriculum with moral focus virtues taught daily.  We also encourage parent engagement, teaching student accountability, and achieving academic excellence. We would love for your church to get involved in your local NHA school through any of the following ways:

  • transportation to/from school
  • before and after school care
  • community events*
  • mentoring programs
  • tutoring
  • sports facilities, and more

       Contact Bri Boehning for more information at 616-498-9079 or bboehning@nhaschools.com

*We would love to partner with you in your community events to better engage and reach the community. Let us know what events you have going on and ways we can come along side you through them.

 

Tutoring & Mentoring

Alger Middle School

Contact for more information: Jeremy Eddie, eddiej@grps.org 616-819-6200

25 opportunities to serve varying from reading, math, overall academic enrichment and general mentoring. 

 

Kids Hope USA 

Kids Hope USA: www.kidshopeusa.org

Corrie Letko, Regional Manager – Michigan & Indiana. 616-546-3580

Too many students stand just one close adult relationship away from thriving in school and in life. This gap hinders education; loneliness obstructs learning. Yet every church’s most abundant resource is people. Kids Hope USA provides structure, training, support, and resources designed for use in public schools by churches to give kids what they need most—hope and love from a mentor.

After a single year of mentoring, 79% improved in socio/emotional competency, 65% improved in educational success, 56% improved in attitude toward risky behaviors.

 

School Staff Support

Kent School Services Network

Kent School Services Network brings health and human services into the school building to serve students and families. This idea is called a "community school."

Learn more: Visit www.kentssn.org | Get involved: Contact Carol at carolpainemcgovern@kentssn.org

 

Pastor and Principal Meet-Ups (Kent School Services Network)

The first step to building successful "community schools" is building healthy relationships. And what better way to start than getting pastors and principals together to talk, share experiences, and learn from one another.

Learn more: Visit www.kentssn.org | Get involved: Contact Shay Kraley at 616.365.2379 or shaykraley@kentssn.org. 

 

Weekend Food Assistance (Hand2Hand)

1 in 5 children in Michigan face food insecurity in the year and studies show that hunger in kids affects their performance in school, increases their chance of illness and affects their future educational success. During school, kids have access to breakfast and lunch through government funded options, but over the weekend, what will those kids eat? 

Hand2Hand delivers hope to children across West Michigan by partnering with churches and elementary, middle and high schools to provide backpacks of nutritious food to kids over the weekends.   These bags of food provide consistency, love and demonstrates to all within the home that people care, and ultimately, that God cares.  In Kent County, 51 schools are served through 34 churches.  In Ottawa County, 92 schools are served through 52 churches.

Learn more: www.hand2handbackpack.org  | Get involved: Contact Jodi Joseph at 616-209-2779 or jodi@hand2handbackpack.org.

College Engagement

Claim Your Campus

Claim Your Campus (CYC) is a proven method of change in schools through student-led prayer.  Students focus on praying through four strategies: GRACE, PEACE, JUSTICE, and MERCY.  CYC is encouraging, equipping, & uniting middle and high school students to pray once a week on their campus.

Students can get involved by:

  • Downloading the Claim Your Campus Mobile App
  • Register their campus
  • Start or join a prayer group

Learn more: www.ClaimYourCampus.com | Get involved: Contactinfo@claimyourcampus.com

CYC-Logo-with-Yellow-BG.png
 

Additional Opportunities to Serve

  • Pray for a school near you. Ask God how you might bless the students/staff at the school. 
  • Call the school to ask for a meeting with the Principal, Assistant Principal, or PTO President of the school.  Start by asking how your church could be praying for that school or what some of the needs are within the school. See where God leads you to serve.
  • Contact Kent School Services Network (KSSN). Ask them for insight and guidance on how to serve. (Shay Kraley, Program Manager 616.365.2379, shaykraley@kentssn.orgwww.kentssn.org).
  • Engage in special events like Character Education Assemblies, Celebration of Attendance Events, etc.

Learning Opportunities 

Attend a Hand2Hand Pack Night at 7 p.m. on any of these dates at Cornerstone Church South Wyoming Campus (1-1.5 hours): 

April 25, 2018

May 9, 2018 

May 23, 2018

Youth For Christ: Events called “See The Story” tours a few times each month. These events are held at two YFC offices (GR and Zeeland) and are during the lunch hour (free lunch 12-1). These events are awesome! YFC  shares who they are and what they do in a brief but powerful way. (No financial ask at these events) If you or anyone else is interested in attending you can find the dates on the Youth For Christ website or contact Amanda at apoe@wmyfc.org