Outreach Community Center

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Vacation Bible School in the 21st Century

An Opportunity for Creativity
At the Outreach Community Center, VBS goes beyond the Sunday School-like Activites our parents and grandparents were accustomed to.
12 February 2010  |  000 Views  |  Youth Department

The Outreach Community has turned Vacation Bible School into an art, hosting as many as 50 children at one time. There's nothing hectic or chaotic about it either. The Center provides a healthy mix of the traditional style of VBS reminiscent of what our parents and grand-parents would remember, and the more day-care/summer-camp type program that has become more prevalent in recent years. On any given day, you can find the children, hand in hand, singing about the goodness of God and reciting the Lord's prayer - a scene that could be used as a poster for Sunday School classes of old. Throw in computer labs, field trips with free breakfast and lunch and it's easy to see how VBS has been revolutionized. Sure, kids still show up wiping the sleep from their eyes, and they still sing loudly, with real enthusiasm, but other than that, today's children have a very different VBS experience than their parents did.

It's not so much the need to have something splashy for the kids, as the need to provide them with what they may not be getting enough of at home
Elaine Dailey - Coordinator

The Outreach Community Center offers a month of activities (in June) aimed at expanding young minds and feeding young spirits. Chidren are incouraged to develop and strengthen their computer skills in a lab on the premises. There are plenty of walks crafts and little excursions that support the lessons for that day. The children receive moral teaching and attention as well. "We try to make a diffrence," says Elaine Dailey, VBS coordinator.

Everybody; kids and volunteers gather on the lawn for a group shop during a summer day in the sun.

Seven-year-old Shannon Howard, a picky eater, ate breakfast at home one day the previous month, but was excited to spend her birthday at VBS where she likes to go outside and take walks, make arts and crafts and "do God stuff." Already she had learned that her favorite part of VBS is "when people come and sing God songs to us."

Vacation Bible Schools all have their way of operating. At the Center, the focus is on good wholesome educational fun that teaches God's Word and solid moral principles that will serve these children well in school and other areas of their lives. That's only a bginning, however. Fostering positive self-esteem by helping them to discover their skills, means opening the door to experiences they may not be introduced to at home. "That's why we love to take field trips", says Elaine Dailey. Their minds are opened to a broader world and the children begin to see the many ways they might be able to contribute to society when they are older. There are so many pitfalls for young people today. By teaching them early, the hope is that they will be able to avoid most, if not all, of them. "That's why VBS (in conjuction with other Youth Department programs) has to be multi-faceted. if we're going to get the results we want."

VBS programs are offering more, these days. Parents shop look around to find a program that they are comfortable with and meets their objectives. We, at the Outreach Community Center, welcome your questions. Enrollment for this summer's Vacation Bible School program begins in May. Contact the Center to enroll your child.

Denise P. Logan
- Writer
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