With the largest school district in the Oklahoma City metro area starting several weeks earlier than usual, several churches are planning their annual back-to-school activities earlier as well.
Many churches offer school supplies, backpacks and other aid to families and schools to reach out to the community at large.
Glenn Harris, ministry assistant at Quayle United Methodist, 5001 N Everest, said his church's goal is to establish a relationship with the children and parents who flock to the Community Block Party on Saturday, July 30, at Quayle and two nearby churches.
“We don't want to give them a hot dog and backpack and we don't see them again until next year,” Harris said. “We're hoping to learn more about the people and find out what their needs are.”
The block party is supported by many local churches and organizations and it will take place at three church sites, Quayle, Holy Temple Baptist and Holy United Baptist Church. Harris said school supplies will be distributed at Holy Temple; Holy United will host a health fair; and Quayle will be the site for prayer, free food and horseback riding.
Harris said the July 30 date will be just in time for students in the Oklahoma City School District, which begins the school year Aug. 1, to get their supplies for a new round of classes.
Meanwhile, another church hosting a back-to-school event July 30 is Woodlands Hills Baptist Church, 313 S State Highway 76 in Newcastle, with its Backpack Give-Away. The church plans to distribute up to 300 backpacks and school supplies to children living in the tri-city area of Newcastle, Blanchard and Tuttle. Other activities include an inflatable apparatus and face painting.
More in August
Churches offering back-to-school events in August include Alameda Church of Christ in Norman, Family of Faith Church in Choctaw and OKC Faith Church.
Alameda Church of Christ's annual Back-to-School Roundup, sponsored by the church's Streams of Water ministry, is preparing to distribute 700 backpacks to area students who attend the Saturday, Aug. 6, event at 801 E Alameda.
Slip-n-Slide Back-to-School, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, Family of Faith Church, 13500 SE 15, Choctaw, 769-8751; www.