Floyd County church extends ministry as student virtual learning hub
PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Ridgepoint Church is extending its mission field, opening its doors to families in need to assist with the hurdles of virtual learning.
Pastor Clayton Case said the church wants to offer assistance to students and their parents, since Internet access and other hurdles may be presenting more challenges than they can handle as online learning becomes their reality for the foreseeable future.
“As a church, our goal is to partner with parents. In our kids' ministry, and as a whole, we like to partner with parents and help parents be the disciple-makers in their own families and give them the tools they need," Case said. “Well, this is just an extension of that.”
So, the church is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday to give up to 20 students from grades six to 12 a space to learn. Volunteers with education and technology backgrounds are on-site to supervise and offer academic help if needed and the church is providing snacks and lunches for the students.
“We wanted to have an opportunity for kids to come together, to be together in a setting that would get them used to going back to school," said volunteer and retired Family Resources and Youth Service Center Coordinator Brian Akers. “And to be able to help each other, too. Because a lot of them have the same classes.”
Akers said he hopes to see more students and families take advantage of the opportunity because it is as much about the social connection as it is the WiFi connection.
“The needs that we have for students is much more than academic. It’s social. It’s just being together,” he said.
The students on-site Thursday said it is a nice change of pace from being home with their computers.
“When you get done at school you get to talk to your friends and you get to have all your friends around you. And it’s just really nice. But when you’re at home you don’t really get that. So, when we come here it gives us that environment back," said Prestonsburg High School senior Abbey Poe.
Case said the church parking lot will also serve as a WiFi hotspot, to extend its reach even more in the days to come. Masks are required and social distancing guidelines are in place.
Families can sign up for the service, free of charge, on the church website. The service is open to all families, not just church members.
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