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Tips for developing church-school partnerships

  • Get to know school administrators. Work with them to learn the needs of the children.

  • Develop ministries based on identified needs.

  • Ask school personnel to identify children who would benefit from the ministries developed and help communicate with parents.

  • Build relationships with parents and other caregivers so they feel comfortable with the church and its leaders.

  • School-based ministries to start any time

  • Adopt a school.

  • Collect school supplies.

  • Collect and donate new and gently used books to give to area schools.

  • Develop a backpack ministry or prepare non-perishable lunches that can be placed in backpacks for children to eat over the weekend.

  • Match teachers and staff with prayer partners from the congregation; provide snacks in the teachers' lounge or serve breakfast or lunch to teachers and classroom volunteers.

  • Teach virtue by offering opportunities to discuss moral values with students.

Adapted from "The ABCs of back-to-school outreach" by Barbara Dunlap-Berg, internal content editor at United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn.

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