In most parts of the country, September is back to school time. Churches may have their children in worship, Sunday school, and other programs for a few hours a week, but the majority of their time is spent in school. It makes sense that churches should support the local schools in their area. Many churches are already doing this by collecting school supplies for children from low-income families or offering after school homework help. If your church is looking for ways to connect with schools, the Lewis Center offers an article entitled “50 Ways to Engage Local Schools.” The article not only lists specific ways churches can help schools but also offers tips for determining the needs of local schools.
Many churches use the first Sunday of the programming year to bless the children’s backpacks. If you haven’t done this yet, check out the Building Faith website which has several articles about the practice, along with prayers and links to more information.
Christine Voreis Hides in her Bless Each One blog offers a free set of printable “question cards” to encourage meaningful conversation between parents and children related to what happened in school that day. These can be placed in a ruler bag and given out to families. You might also want to make the question cards the focus of the children’s message on the day they are distributed.