By TYLER MASK
Last Tuesday night's Mineral Wells ISD School Board meeting was slated with all kinds of presentations, awards and various agenda items up for approval. The first presentation, narrated by MWISD Public Relations Coordinator Karyn Bullock, was the MWISD March Partners in Education.
While some families take advantage of Spring Break, going on vacations and traveling the globe, others stay at home for various reasons. For some parents, Spring Break might present a hardship, especially if they have to work while their children are at home. As a result, many parents need something for their kids to do during the break, Bullock said, noting that they also desire positive activities for their children.
Three years ago, a small team from the Palo Pinto Baptist Association came together to discuss ministerial opportunities during Spring Break. Their idea was to create a Spring Break Vacation Bible School program, breaking traditional views on VBS.
“When you think of Vacation Bible School, most of us think of summer,” Bullock said.
After “operation VBS” was a go, the next obstacle facing the association was locating the proper facilities. They needed to have space for small groups and plenty of room for recreation. They also needed to be in a location that was easily accessible to the community, so families would be comfortable allowing their children to be a part of the program, Bullock said.
“This wish list seemed almost impossible to meet,” Bullock said. “Then they began to wonder, 'What about all of the school buildings that are sitting empty during Spring Break?' Not only was this ideal, but the location of our elementary schools are within walking distance of most families in Mineral Wells. The biggest piece of the puzzle had finally been solved.”
This Spring Break, PPBA's Debra Hanlon organized seven churches, three schools and a countless number of volunteers to help prepare for and run the program. In the end, nearly 200 children attended the event.
To handle the favorable turnout, all three locations: Lamar Elementary, run by Grace Church and Northside Baptist Church; Houston Elementary, run by Iglesia Templo Bautista Church and Indian Creek Baptist Church; and Travis Elementary, run by Calvary Baptist and the Cowboy Church of Mineral Wells, all cooperated, providing Bible stories, games, activities, crafts, sack lunches and even bounce houses.
“This outreach event provided a safe place for the children of our community to come and play,” Bullock said. “They were fed both physically and spiritually. I love the simple quote from the animated movie 'Robots,' [where] Mr. Bigweld frequently cites, 'See a need, fill a need.'”
And in MWISD's eyes, the PPBA did just that.
After the presentation, Hanlon and PPBA Director of Missions Ferrell Gage were presented with the MWISD March Partners award.
“Your personal commitment and service to our community is greatly appreciated,” Bullock said.