II. Reaching Out to Children in the Community
Goal: To engage in ministries aimed at improving life for chil-dren and for poor people in the neighborhood around the church as well as in nearby communities.
Support public schools.
- Monitor school board elections.
- Establish an active partnership with a nearby school.
- Sponsor a fundraising event for a local public school.
- Recruit members to be volunteers at local schools.
- Provide school supply kits to neighborhood children.
- Enter into partnership with a church that serves a school.
Provide supervised before and/or after school programs or weekend events that include:
- Safe passage (transportation or escorts for walking)
- Nutritious snack or meal.
- Help with homework.
- A faith component.
- Enrichment experience.
- Art, dance, drama and music programs.
- Computer practice/training.
- English/Spanish classes.
Educate children outside of the classroom.
- Offer a well-publicized Vacation Church School or a summer education program that‟s open to community children.
- Establish mentoring and tutoring programs that seek to nurture children so that they stay out of the juvenile justice system. For more information visit the Children‟s Defense Fund Cradle to Prison Pipeline® http://www.childrensdefense.org/helping-americas-children/cradle-to-prison-pipeline-campaign/action-steps.html#1.
Care for the health of community members.
- Sponsor a Family Health Fair at the church which offers health and dental check-ups, immunizations, and various screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma, vision, hearing, etc. Consider sponsoring a blood drive at the same time, so that those who receive have the option of also giving.
- Provide transportation for pregnant women to prenatal classes and health clinics.
- Offer a drug prevention program for neighborhood children and youth, utilizing United Methodist Global Ministries resources on “Substance Abuse and Related Violence”. http://new.gbgm-umc.org/about/us/cim/programs/spsarv/
Care for families within the community.
- Develop a community garden on church property that encourages children and their families to plant, cultivate and harvest.
- Provide a “lending closet” of costly items families need for children, such as child safety seats, cribs, high chairs, strollers, musical instruments, coats, etc.
- Develop partnerships between experienced mothers/grandmothers and new and/or single mothers, and between experienced fathers/grandfathers and new and/or single fathers.
- Sponsor a foster family and offer them care, support and respite.