5 Things Your Local School Needs

Widespread public access to knowledge, like public education,
is one of the pillars of our democracy, a guarantee that
we can maintain a well-informed citizenry.
Scott Turow

Public schools perform a vital function in our society, allowing children from any socioeconomic background the opportunity to learn basic facts and skills, to discover new interests and passions, to interact with people different from themselves. Hopefully, they can take those new skills and make a life and a community out of them.

Here are five things public schools need:

  1. Prayer—Pray for the administration. Pray for the teachers (most schools have a list online). Pray for the students. Pray the environment would be safe and conducive to learning. Pray for the help needed for students who are struggling. Pray for the health of everyone spending the day in the human petri dish. Pray for wisdom for all who lead and teach. Pray. We can all do this, even if we never again step foot in a school.

    Glen Noble via Unsplash
  2. Volunteers—Every school has jobs that dedicated volunteers can help with. My husband and I volunteer one or two hours a week in a fourth-grade classroom at our local elementary school. We work one-on-one with students in subjects where they are struggling, or help with group projects, or go on field trips. PTAs always need volunteers to help plan or supervise school social events. Librarians could use you to shelve or sort books. Consider how much time you would be able to regularly donate and then volunteer.
  3. Supplies—Schools struggle to keep supply closets filled with everything from Kleenex to whiteboard markers. Where our daughter lives, students are given a huge list of supplies they must buy and bring to school for use in the classroom. But those supplies run low, especially this late in the school year. In honor of my husband Les’s birthday in April, we’ve asked our church friends to donate certain supplies the teachers at school have asked for or to support our GoFundMe page so we can buy some larger items on teacher wishlists. Most teachers spend their own money buying supplies for the classroom. Ask them what they need or want and then host a collection drive.

    Aaron Burden via Unsplash
  4. Encouragement—Working with kids every day can be exhausting, and discouraging. Parental involvement in the learning process provides great encouragement for teachers and staff. Attend the PTA meetings. Read the 57 flyers that come home every week. But you don’t have to be a parent to be an encourager. Stop by with a plate of brownies. Drop a note to a teacher or the principal or secretary or nurse or librarian and let them know you’re praying for them. Ask how you can help.
  5. Christian Students—Various studies have concluded that the majority of people who accept Christ as Savior do so before the age of 14. Where are children whose parents do not take them to church hearing about Jesus? From school friends and neighbors. I understand the reasons some parents choose Christian schools.(When we took in our girls at the ages of 14 and 15, we eventually faced the need to pull them out of school situations where they had too much history and defeat. We put them in a Christian school so they could recuperate and grow.) But at least consider the mission field your child can have in a public school. I highly recommend the book Ambassador Families: Equipping Your Kids to Engage Popular Culture, by Mitali Perkins. It’s out of print, but you can get it free on Kindle Unlimited or pick up a used copy. Perkins shares great information on how to help your child be an ambassador for Christ in their world.

What are you doing to support the students and teachers and administration of your local schools? Do they feel you know them and that you care? Is God using you in that school for his kingdom? If you choose to at least pray, he will be using you!

2 thoughts on “5 Things Your Local School Needs”

  1. Carol, I was with you all the way up to number five. We are hearing all the time now how the church is losing young adults. These are kids who made a profession of faith as youngsters but, after spending years in public schools, they leave the church. Young children need to be raised to know and love God and His Word before we can expect them to be evangelists or ambassadors for Christ. In the public schools what they hear (not because teachers are bad but because the curriculum is designed this way) is that God is wrong on just about everything from science to history and biology. I was taught to look at it using Psalm 1. When we send our kids to public schools (and we did that), we are sending them into the counsel of the wicked and standing them in the way of sinners, and sitting them in the seats of scoffers. People hear this and think it is an attack on teachers. Please hear me, I know there are good teachers, but their hands are tied by the state. Christians need to think long and hard about using the public schools if they want children who will walk with the Lord. I agree that adult Christians can play a significant role. I think we need to protect our children. Our own stories of what our kids were presented with at grades four and five should have sent us running. Unfortunately, we were not Christians until they were in Junior High so we saw it differently.

    • Thanks for you comments, Beth. While some children may not be able to handle being in public schools, I know plenty of students who are thriving there as ambassadors for Christ and making a difference in the life of their classmates. Those who do so well are being faithfully discipled by their parents so they can live missionally. There’s a comment on my Facebook page from a woman who was led to Christ by a school friend, as was her husband, and now she sees her daughter living out the same lifestyle. I believe this is a mission field we ignore to our peril.


Leave a Comment


Have Carol Speak For Your Group

An accomplished and flexible speaker, Carol tailors her topics to fit the theme and timeframes of your meeting, conference, seminar or retreat.