There’s more than fun behind the annual back-to-school event at Family of Faith Church in Choctaw. The ministry brings students from the surrounding community together for festivities but also plans to place free school supplies in their hands. The church has a new 100-foot-long slide for its Aug. 8 "Slip and Slide” event, which combines the whimsical with the practical as children prepare to head back to class. "There’s always needy people, and we want to be an outreach to people who need help,” the Rev. Claude Bryant, the church’s senior pastor, said recently. Family of Faith is among several Oklahoma City-area churches holding school-supply giveaways this month. It’s a way to partner with the community to fulfill a need for many students as they prepare to return to school. "One of the secrets of success in life is education,” Bryant said. "We have to keep the kids in school for as long as we can. In turn, that will make this a better community.” Like Bryant’s church, many churches are offering fun activities along with supplies. Several northeast Oklahoma City churches are joining together to hold a block party Aug. 8 in the area of NE 50, Martin Luther King Avenue and Everest. The churches include Holy Temple Baptist Church, where free backpacks and school supplies will be offered, and Quayle United Methodist, where many games and other activities are planned. Other ministries joining the effort include Northeast Church of Christ and some suburban-area partner churches including First Christian Church of Edmond. Other school-supply giveaways include Faith Church’s annual "Feeding 5,000,” an effort that includes a free meal, school supplies and clothing for area children Aug. 15. Wildewood Christian Church also will hold a block party Aug. 8 and offer activities and school supplies for students. Meanwhile, Edmond’s Henderson Hills Baptist Church is in the midst of a school supply drive for Edmond schoolchildren. The Rev. Jeff Wilson, an associate pastor at the church, said about 800 children received supplies last year, and the church’s goal this year is to help 1,000 students. Wilson said Walmart stores in the Edmond area along with the Edmond Mardel store and Transformation Fitness Center are drop-off sites for donations. The supplies will be given away Aug. 12 at the church. New this year is a plan to give Edmond schoolteachers any excess supplies. Wilson said teachers who show proof of Edmond residency can pick up supplies from 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 13 at the church. "My wife was a teacher. My mom was a teacher, and my grandmother and grandfather were teachers. I know how much teachers spend out-of-pocket for students in their classes,” Wilson said. "We just thought that this was a good way to bless the teachers.”
Back-to-school events→Back-to-School Block Party and Summer Blast, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 8. Backpack giveaway at Holy Temple Baptist Church, 1540 NE 50. Food, games and other activities will be at Northeast Church of Christ, 4817 N Martin L. King Ave., and Quayle United Methodist Church’s Community Youth Outreach grounds, 5001 N Everest. →Back-to-School Block Party, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 8, Wildewood Christian Church, 6900 N Kelley. Games, exhibits, free school supplies. 478-0781. →"Slip and Slide” school supply giveaway, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8, Family of Faith Church, 13500 SE 15, Choctaw. Water activities and school supply giveaway. 769-875. →School supply giveaway, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12, Henderson Hills Baptist Church, Interstate 35 and 15th Street, Edmond. Must bring Edmond utility bill as proof of residency. 341-4639; www.weneedschoolsupplies.com. →"Feeding 5,000” school supply giveaway, Aug. 15, Faith Church, Interstate 40 and Portland; www.okcfaith.com.