The Baptist Church of Beaufort hasn’t stood idly by watching students and parents struggle with balancing virtual school with jobs to pay the bills. From the beginning of the school year, volunteers at the church have staffed an e-learning center equipped with Wi-Fi to provide a place for students to attend virtual classes and complete their assignments while parents work.
A new meaning for church school
By Kelly Zytynski
Director of Children’s Ministry
The Baptist Church of Beaufort
The Beaufort County School District chose to begin the school year with virtual learning to help stop the spread of Covid. This created a huge need for students of working parents or single parent households.
Finding care for their children and/or helping their students with virtual learning while also working to provide financial stability has burdened some parents in our community—and burdened my heart as well. This burden for some parents meant choosing to work to provide for their families or leaving their jobs to care for their children during the virtual learning school day.
With all this in mind, we at The Baptist Church of Beaufort decided to open our doors as a free virtual E-Learning site. We help families that are concerned about what they are going to do with their children for school as they have to go to work in order for their families to make it.
Our E-Learning site provides a safe space for working parents to bring their children during the school week. We are serving 15 elementary age students from 7 different elementary schools.
Parents drop their students off at our building with their learning tools (tablets, iPads, headphones, etc.). We provide wi-fi access, school supplies, and two daily snacks for our students to complete their school assignments.
In addition, we provide volunteers (learning coaches) to help students stay on track with their studies. We have 20 learning coaches who volunteer one to two days per week to help make our students successful. We have several retired teachers, a retired principal, a retired member of the Secret Service—all with a heart for boys and girls. We could not do this desperately needed ministry without our volunteers with their big hearts and our students’ biggest cheerleaders.
We will continue to provide the E-Learning option for parents through the end of 2020 or until school returns to full session. If virtual learning continues into 2021 we will assess the need and make a decision to continue or not.
Our hope in providing this ministry is that ALL will see the love of Jesus through us.