E-Learning Center event to help churches meet families needs

  • The Alliance Bible Church in Bartlett is serving local families with an e-learning center three days per week.

    The Alliance Bible Church in Bartlett is serving local families with an e-learning center three days per week. Courtesy of Kimberly Kline

 
Submitted by Matthew Armstrong
Updated 9/22/2020 7:26 PM

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, Crossroads Kids Club will host a first-of-its-kind digital event -- a panel discussion focused on e-learning centers in church spaces.

Over Zoom, church leaders will share their stories of establishing successful e-learning centers for children to complete their remote schoolwork with church support. They will discuss the details of planning and execution, as well as the challenges they overcame to faithfully serve their communities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The panel is open to all; pastors, parents and community members from around the country are encouraged to attend virtually to learn how to serve children and families in this unique way.

"Throughout this pandemic, we have heard concerns from parents about how to support their children through e-learning and make sure they get the socialization that they need," said Kim Kline, director of ministry development at Crossroads Kids Club. "The e-learning center event is discussing how churches can provide a space for kids to do their schoolwork and interact with other kids in a safe space with caring adults there to support them."

Last spring, coronavirus shutdowns devastated schools nationwide; by March, only four states were left with public schooling in place. This fall, remote schooling continues to pose challenges for families and communities nationwide. Students must adapt to digital learning formats while missing out on the benefits of school -- from social interaction to physical activity.

Meanwhile, many churches stand empty as coronavirus precautions prevent large gatherings. Crossroads Kids Club aims to connect a need with its solution -- helping churches make use of their physical space to provide safe e-learning centers for interaction and schoolwork.

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The digital event's panelists will include Matt Armstrong, CEO at Crossroads Kids Club; Ben Douglass, associate pastor at Faith Community Alliance Church in Columbus, Ohio; Alex Culpepper, senior pastor of Alliance Bible Church in Bartlett; and Anna Woo, internship director at Cross Culture Church, in Minneapolis, Minn.

When Ben Douglass noticed that children in his Columbus neighborhood weren't logging into online classes in the spring, he decided to create an e-Learning Center at his church, running for eight hours a week with elementary and middle schoolchildren.

"We're helping kids log in for the first time, set up profiles, and talk to teachers," he said. "If the church doesn't rise up and really come along kids, it's not going to get done."

In suburban Chicago, Alex Culpepper saw a similar impact when his church opened an e-learning center three mornings a week. His program combines Bible study with dedicated support for virtual schoolwork, leaving kids with crucial social experience and parents with a much-needed break.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The impact this has for families is huge," Culpepper said. "Parents are in desperate need, and the response we got was instantaneous."

The benefits extend to the church as well, Culpepper said, showing that the congregation can meet community needs during a challenging season.

"So many churches are in a place where they're struggling," he added. "So many churches have this huge resource they're not utilizing: their empty buildings."

Culpepper and the additional panelists will speak at the Crossroads event to address church leader's questions about their own e-learning plans.

If you would like your church to take a leadership role in providing families with learning support, tune into the free Zoom event from 11 a.m. to noon Central Time. The panelists will answer questions from attendees.

Advance registration is required at www.crossroadskidsclub.com/e-learning.

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