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Convention joins forces to adopt schools
BSC Communications
February 01, 2011
4 MIN READ TIME

Convention joins forces to adopt schools

Convention joins forces to adopt schools
BSC Communications
February 01, 2011

In 2008, more than 11,000 students entered first grade in

Wake County public schools.

These students are set to graduate high school in 2020, and

while that may seem like a long time from now (especially to their parents),

it’s not to Anthony Higgs and his wife Symonetta.

The Higgs want to see every one of these students graduate.

This is an ambitious goal, but they are already working through the

Adopt-a-School Initiative to help make it happen.

After seeing the success of Tony Evans in Texas with the

National Church Adopt-a-School Initiative, the Higgs decided they wanted to

bring Adopt-a-School to North Carolina, specifically Wake County where they

live and attend Faith Baptist Church.

The ministry recruits and trains volunteers from churches

and faith-based community organizations to go into local schools and serve as

mentors and tutors for children at risk of failing or dropping out of school.

As the ministry started making an impact in the schools and

in the lives of students and families, it caught the attention of State

Superintendent June Atkins who asked the Higgs to begin implementing

Adopt-a-School across the entire state.

For the Higgs, Adopt-a-School is an outgrowth of Another

Step Forward Ministries (ASF). They began ASF in 1987 as a way to help minister

to women in the community where Anthony pastored a church plant.

He pastored that church plant for 19 years, and retired in

2006 in order to serve as president of ASF and help “take the ministry to

another level.”

About a year later the Higgs began Adopt-a-School.

Originally from the Bahamas, the Higgs moved to Florida in 1976 to help start a

church in Delray Beach. They have served in full-time Christian ministry for

more than 30 years.

The Christian Life and Public Affairs Committee of the

Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Board of Directors recently

entered into an agreement to support and promote the work of ASF and

Adopt-a-School.

North Carolina Baptists are encouraged to consider

supporting Adopt-a-School, whether through prayer, financial support or

hands-on involvement.

Adopt-a-School provides churches and organizations with

training on the dos and don’ts of working in the public school system. After

the training, the church decides which school(s) they want to adopt and then

Adopt-a-School provides the church with a needs assessment from the school.

“We don’t want to go in and say this is what you need to do.

We give them the opportunity to tell us what their needs are,” Anthony said.

The church then decides which needs it wants to help meet.

Mentoring is a crucial component of Adopt-a-School.

The mentoring takes place during the school day on the

school campus. Volunteers are asked to commit to at least one year of spending

at least one hour a week with the student(s) being mentored.

“A lot of the students who are at risk for dropping out of

school really don’t have consistency in their lives,” Symonetta said. “We need

to be consistent; to show them that we are going to be faithful to the mission

and the cause.”

Students often get to know their mentor very well and talk

about issues with the mentor they do not want to talk about with their parents

or teachers. Even so, Adopt-a-School is about allowing mentoring to strengthen

families.

“We really stress in the training that we are not the

parents of these children, and we do not want to take the place of the parents.

We want to come alongside parents and help them out where they cannot meet the

needs in certain areas,” Symonetta said.

Adopt-a-School helps the church “take their community back

for the Lord,” Anthony said.

Communities begin to see that the church cares and is

willing to invest in other people. As mentors and volunteers show Jesus’ love

through the relationships they build with students, parents and teachers, “it

is a powerful thing, and makes an impact in everyone’s life,” Anthony said.

Visit www.asfministries.org.

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