It was a sight to behold: children excited about coming together to study the Bible and enjoying fellowship with one another. Students participating in the After School Kids (ASK) program learn together each Tuesday afternoon for 10 weeks, and just recently completed their spring session.
ASK is a Bible study for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The ASK program is nonprofit, non-denominational and an extension of Community Bible Study. A ladies’ branch has been in the area for over 15 years.
Currently, Scarlett Stout is the coordinator, and she is happy to say the group is the only one in the entire state. She and volunteer Sarah Netherton traveled to Colorado to receive training to lead the group.
“We feel it is very important for the children to be together, enjoy some play time and a snack before having their group activities,” said Stout. “They have large group time where they enjoy singing and short talk or skit on the week’s Bible passage before going into their core groups.”
Volunteer core adult leaders meet with the students and go over the lesson homework the child has completed at home. There are nine questions and a memory verse each week, enabling the parent to assist their child in the study.
Teacher Carol Johnson works with a group of girls each week, and feels she is also on the receiving end.
“I benefit from developing a relationship with the girls, and seeing them grow in their relationship with God,” said Johnson. “They study on their own, and develop in Christ at an early age.”
The students say they have fun being with their friends, learning about God and also enjoying the food. A mostly healthy afternoon snack and water is provided for the children, organized by Tonya Kell.
“I almost always have homemade chocolate chip cookies,” said Kell. “We do try to cut back on the sugar and have some fruit or vegetables, but they sure like the cookies.”
She volunteers each week, and also brings her grandson, Campbell, to the meetings.
“It’s very rewarding, and such a blessing for the children because they learn so much about the Bible,” said Kell.
The fall session/registration will be held on Aug. 16. The next group will meet for 10 sessions, with the last meeting Nov. 15. Tuesday is the day for ASK from 3 – 5 p.m. in the gymnasium of Northside Baptist Church. All students in kindergarten through sixth grade are welcome, and there is a $25 registration fee.
Stout will be passing her director duties to Lori Cantrell, who will begin her leadership at the fall session.
Cantrell is excited about continuing the group’s mission: To make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in our communities through caring, in-depth Bible study. Cantrell can be reached at 931-507-2466, and Netherton at 931-815-3984. More info can also be found at mcminnvilleask.cbsclass.org.
A group for students in grades 6 – 9 (eTeen) meets at First United Methodist on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. starting in August. Mike Netherton is the contact person, and can be reached at 815-3984.