Like every other ministry in our Conference, C4C has adapted to the environment that Covid thrust upon us. As public schools and churches closed, in-person activities were suspended, and children suddenly became distance learners. But without adequate internet access, many children, especially those in rural areas, could not maintain their learning momentum. So C4C offered grants to churches to expand their internet capabilities, allowing neighborhood children to access their online lessons at church facilities.
Many churches became satellite learning centers during the school day, with church volunteers serving as hosts and tutors. During uncertain times, churches provided stability, food, and recreational activities, along with instructional support. When schools reopened, many learning centers became after-school centers, joining others throughout the conference that had been providing that ministry for years.
Many churches are hosting summer literacy camps, helping neighborhood children avoid summer learning loss by maintaining and improving their reading skills in a summer camp setting. Our focus on literacy continues to be our best strategy to break the cycle of poverty for our next generation.
Since our last Annual Conference, C4C has added a fourth focus area – public education advocacy – by bringing United Methodist Advocates for Public Schools under the C4C umbrella. By partnering with other established organizations, we can increase
our effectiveness as advocates for public education throughout the state. Our recent webinar, “Our Faith. Our Children. Our Public Schools,” about the Wesleyan imperative for people of faith to support our public schools, can be found on our Conference
Through challenging times, our local congregations continue to promote K-3 literacy; meet children’s basic needs; encourage active involvement of caring adults; and advocate for public education. Congregations for Children is alive and well, “Helping Children Affected by Poverty – Supporting North Carolina Public Schools.”