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BOE again considers voluntary Bible class

Members of the McDuffie County Board of Education are once again considering allowing a voluntary Bible program in local elementary schools.

During the December planning and regular meetings last week, the board received information on the Good News Club of Child Evangelism Fellowship.

"It's another opportunity for our kids to meet for extra curricular activity," Superintendent Jim LeBrun said. "It's similar to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club."

School board members looked over the material and asked questions of Margaret Kim, the director of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Augusta, who attended the regular meeting. Mr. LeBrun said the information was for consideration purposes only.

According to the literature provided to the school board, the Good News Club is an elementary club that uses biblical principles to teach moral values, character qualities and respect to authority to elementary-aged children.

CEF partners with local churches to start a club in the elementary school of their choice, seeks permission from the proper school officials and trains the workers.

The nondenominational club meets inside the school building after school for one hour per week. Club meeting time includes a snack, Bible lesson, creative activities, songs and Scripture memory. Only children with a signed parental permission slip may attend and there is no cost to attend. Parents are responsible for providing the transportation home after the club meeting.

Ms. Kim said there are seven schools in Columbia County and one in Burke County with clubs.

It is the second such program to be considered by the local BOE this year.

In August, board members considered a Release Time Bible Education program after hearing a presentation by Katie Wakeland of School Ministries. Mrs. Wakeland lives in Thomson and has children in the McDuffie County School System.

Unlike the Good News Club, which meets in the school building after school hours, Release Time provides the opportunity for children to attend a Bible class one hour a week off school campus during a nonacademic class time.

School board members have yet to make a decision on either program.

Web posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009

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