By Ronda Ooms
It’s hard to believe that it’s August and time to think about school starting! This has been an unusual summer! I’m sure that it hasn’t looked anything like what you thought it would. Mine certainly hasn’t! BUT here we are at the end of summer and looking at what this new school year will look like.
Here at ECC, we have partnered with Miller Elementary School for the past 13 years. This year we will be entering our 14th year of ministry with them and part of my job as Community Outreach Director is to look at how to do ministry during this unusual time in the history of our nation. Back to School has always been a time of helping families purchase clothing that follows the dress code of the school, co-hosting a Back To School Carnival, and recruiting volunteers to help in the classrooms at Miller. This year we will be approaching these areas a bit differently.
Many families have taken a financial hit during this time with loss of jobs, increased child care needs, etc. Therefore, we are taking donations to help families with needs that they will have with the start of the school year. Those needs may be clothing, shoes, masks, supplies, or other things that may come up. Typically, the school staff will let us know about needs and we will follow up with the families. If you are interested in making a donation, above your tithe, please make your check out to ECC with Miller School in the memo portion. You can drop it off at the church office or place it in the offering box on Sunday morning when you attend the worship service.
We’ve been co-sponsoring a Back To School Carnival with Bauer at Miller for the past 8 years. This year, on Tuesday, August 18 from 5:30-6:30 PM, we will be having a “Car”nival. The families will stay in their cars and drive through a predetermined route set up through the parking lot and the front of the school. Our idea is to have some type of entertainment for the families as they make their way through the predetermined route. We hope to have clowns, a juggler, music, several games (played in or from their car) and at the end of the route each family member will be given a taco meal and snow cone. We will also have raffle prizes and the kids will have a chance to see members of the Miller staff get crazy things done to them (water poured over them, eggs on their head, pie in the face, etc!) It should be lots of fun!! Our goal is to have all the children, whether they have chosen e-learning or to attend classes in person, come to this event. We hope to help families feel cared for and loved and to know that we are here for them. We’re trying to do something “normal” in a unique way! If you have any contacts for possible entertainment or have ideas of what we could do, please email me at email@example.com or give me a call at the church office at 474-4842.
In order to make this “Car”nival a success we will need volunteers. Following are ways you can help: food prep, distributing food, helping with a non-contact game or helping where ever there is a need. Please sign up here. We will wear masks and social distance as much as possible. Please help us help make the start of this unusual school year a fun one for the children.
Part of the startup plan for the Lafayette School Corporation is to limit the number of outside people into the school during the first 9 weeks of classes. Because of this, we will not be recruiting classroom volunteers at this time. Our monthly family meals at Miller will also be put on hold until we are given the green light to start those once again. Our hope is that in November we may see things returned back to a more normal routine.
Over the last few weeks I have met with Deb Paterson, Miller’s principal, and Greg Louk, the assistant principal, and they, along with the rest of the Miller staff, are working hard to get things in order for the new school year. I know that they all would appreciate your prayers as they get things ready for the children and their families. I know that applies to all of our educators, no matter the age of the students they teach. It is an unusual and very stressful time.
Your continued prayers for our outreach ministry are greatly appreciated. We desire to walk alongside the families of Miller Elementary School and be a source of encouragement and care. We are so thankful for the ministry God has given to us. May we be His hands and feet as we care for our community.