Serving Schools through Beautifying Campuses
by Kevin Boer
How do you start your school year off in your ministry with students? Here in
Locally, National Network of Youth Ministries has a countywide network called the San Diego Mission Team. Our network partnered with Urban Youth Collaborative and Vision San Diego to serve schools in administration approved ways. Nate Landis, the director of Urban Youth Collaborative, led the effort to partner churches with schools. He has a long term partnership with Matthew Parades an administrator with the San Ysidro School district. Together they organized 6 schools and one police station in San Ysidro alone. The Navy sent out volunteers to help this school district that has only 3 gardeners for nine schools! Nate also spearheaded partnerships on multiple inner city San Diego Schools. For instance, on
Students Giving Back
The School Beautification Day gives the opportunity for teenagers from different churches to serve their schools. For instance, Jack McKee from Youth Vision America brought together volunteers from three different churches to Escondido High to spruce up the campus. They washed windows, mopped the gym floor and blew out the stadium. I met Elliot, a student who goes to
Developing Church-School Partnerships
One important function the School Beautification did for us was to develop a starting point for a longer term relationship between churches and schools. We acted like a “dating service” matching churches to schools.
For instance, At Knob Hill Elementary, Dawn Lopez, a friend of ours introduced us to Principal Carrie Geldard who was excited about the opportunity. We partnered the school with
Before the day was through Carrie shared With DJ about other opportunities that were available to the church to serve at the school throughout the school year. The facilities manager form the school district said there are 17 more schools in the district that could use some help!
Also, Mike Gilson, the associate pastor at Pathways Community Church in East County San Diego has developed an ongoing partnership with the Santee Schools District. Churches in their area provided 350 volunteers that put in over 1,500 hours of work on 32 projects on 6 campuses. They have another day planned at West Hills High School putting in an "Environmental Science Garden" that the school has the supplies but need laborers.
Serving Schools, Sharing Jesus
By the demonstration of love and our long term partnership with schools we are building a relationship where we can proclaim Christ and demonstrate His love on campus. For example, Nate Landis shared how one administrator came to know Jesus after the first School Beautification Day. Also, through his long term partnership with
In the same way, our goal is to have churches partnering with every secondary school across