Virtual Learning @First

Meeting the Needs of Children in a Pandemic:

Chambersburg School Children Need Our Help.

The Context

First UMC has an opportunity to serve local Chambersburg families this fall.

The Chambersburg School District will offer all K-12 classes through virtual learning as the 2020-2021 school year begins. At their monthly board meetings, the school board will determine if they will re-open their buildings the next month. Until the buildings re-open, students who do not have internet at home need to have access to their virtual classes.

The school district asked First UMC and other churches to share our internet access with school children.

The Rationale

It may seem strange that while we are not gathering in our building to worship, we are opening the building for school children. This is the difference: Our in-door worship gatherings have numbered around 100 people. The Governor’s (and subsequently our Bishop’s) gathering guideline allows only 25 people to meet in a room. Consequently, Sunday school classes under 25 people, as well as FUMC staff, have been meeting in the building. While there may be more than 25 children present, they will remain in groups of 10 or 12 throughout the day as they follow all CDC protocols and the Governor’s guidelines.

The Blessing

What a wonderful, unique opportunity our church has to show the love of Jesus to both the school children and their families, and also to the Girls and Boys Club staff. Please pray for God to use this season as an opportunity to touch the lives of these children and their families in the name of Christ.

So How Does It Work?

The Process

First UMC Leadership believes the Lord is giving us an opportunity to bless children by meeting this need. Our plan is to provide a safe educational environment in First UMC’s building. We will partner with the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of America (B&G Club) who will supervise the children each day.

The Expectations

Goal: 50 students or more, as needed (K-8th grade)

CDC health protocols will be followed by staff and students.

The Day:

7am: B&G Club before-school program.

Throughout the day: B&G Club staff supervise children through virtual learning assignments.

5pm B&G Club after-school program ends.

The Costs and Sponsorships

This tuition-based program costs $65/student/week.

· The B&G Club staff are trained and paid.

· We seek 50-75 sponsorships @ $65/child/week = $260/month.

· Individual: Commit to sponsoring one child (or more) for $260/month each.

· Sunday School class/Small Group/Friends: Pool your resources and sponsor one or more children each month.

· Partial Sponsorship: as your budget allows a portion of the $65 tuition.

· To Commit to sponsorship please contact pastor Steve at or register here.

· Each month, send a check made out to FUMC with the memo – “school sponsorship.” 225 S. South Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201.



Related by Carel Fish...

Today I was at church to meet a friend from the clothing mission. I arrived to see our church staff, Gail Vaughn, Toby Hamsher, and Pastor Steve Livermore moving furniture to accommodate the children from the Boys and Girls club program. The children sat quietly and listened to direction from their teacher, Arcadia.

As they were getting ready to work, I wandered to the door to meet my friend. While I was standing there, a gentleman arrived with his daughter. I asked him to wait for the teacher and he cheerfully agreed. After his child’s temperature was taken, she joined her classmates, I couldn’t help but hear his conversation with the director. With concern on his face and in his voice, he asked, “How much do I owe?” “How expensive is this program?” She smiled and reassured him that he didn’t owe anything. He couldn’t believe it and his face showed his relief. He went on to explain that he was a single dad and worked nights. He was concerned that his daughter would not be able to do her schoolwork alone and shouldn’t be alone during the day, but he needed to get some sleep. He went on to tell us that he had prayed the night before for a solution to this situation. “God put this program here,” was his conclusion; and also mine. He thanked her sincerely and her parting comment was “Now go home so you can get some sleep!"