09/22/04 — Church and school summit set for Saturday

View Archive

Church and school summit set for Saturday

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 22, 2004 2:01 PM

Building a better partnership between church and school will be addressed at a workshop this weekend.

As part of a faith-based and community initiative with Wayne County public schools, Best Grove Missionary Baptist Church will host Saturday's event from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The theme is "Building a Strong Foundation for Children: Examining the Role of the Church, the Family, and the School."

The workshop sessions will explore building self-worth and character in children with help from churches and other faith groups.

The free event is open to parents, students and community members. Children are especially welcome.

"If you're going to talk about what is important in the lives of children, you need to talk to children," said Dr. Willette Wooten, director of federal programs for Wayne County schools.

She helped organize the workshop as well as the first education summit held during the 2003-2004 school year.

Sessions will be divided into groups of children, teens and adults, and will be led by representatives from the education and faith communities. The participants will then participate in discussion activities.

The workshop will conclude with a presentation by Darryl Woodard, director of the Wayne Youth Outreach Center. He will discuss the importance of church and faith-based initiatives in education.

Last year's education summit focused on the federal No Child Left Behind law. Among the findings from that summit were that with the federal law in place, schools and religious organizations could become even more powerful allies to ensure that all children, regardless of their race, family income, or language spoken at home, could receive a high-quality education.

School officials say that the support of church groups in the public schools can be a valuable tool to improving education, without endorsing doctrine or religious denomination.

Best Grove Church and nearby Tommy's Road Elementary School have had a long-standing partnership, recognized during recent school board meetings as an example of how church support can improve education. The church held a breakfast before the start of the school year for teachers and staff and has joined other faith-based groups in providing mentors and advocates in schools that have fewer parents involved.