Loving Our Neighbors Amidst COVID-19

COVID-19 is negatively impacting families across Greater Houston.* As we care for our own families during this time, let’s continue to care for our local schools. Even if it’s online or at a distance for now, let’s love our students, families, and teachers in Jesus’ name! (If you’re not yet connected with a school, we can connect you!) 

*Houston Education Research Consortium Survey Data

Church-School Partnership Ideas Amidst COVID-19

As always, ask how you can help. If needed, see below for ideas from Dr. Pam Wells, Executive Director of Region 4 Education Service Center (watch the video here: FULL | ABBREVIATED). Remember: Start small, start soon, stay committed!

  • Ensure Kids Have Enough Food. Many students who accessed free and reduced price meals during the school year have not been able to make it to food distribution sites. Work with your school partner to ensure that every student has access to the food and resources they need, e.g. provide additional distribution sites, deliver to apartment complexes, help call families. Multiple churches can also coordinate with the school district or a feeder pattern. (Examples: Greater St Matthew Church, Champion Forest Baptist Church) You can also help the school to ensure that these students have applied for their Pandemic-EBT of $285 per child: Find details here or call 833-613-6220. 
  • Offer Internet Access and Devices. Schools will likely offer in-person, online, and hybrid options for schooling this coming school year. Unfortunately, many students do not have access to the devices and Internet connectivity needed to complete schoolwork online. If your church is reopening, follow CDC recommended guidelines to offer space, devices, and Internet connectivity for students. You can also help ensure that students have access to needed technology. (Example: Ecclesia Clear Lake. Resources: Technocycle-mention Loving Houston, Comp-U-Dopt)
  • Provide Mental Health Support. The past several months have been very difficult for many of our children amidst COVID-19 and racial tensionsIf your church has licensed counselors or access to pro bono counseling support, offer them to students and families. You can also ask if your school partner has an online mentoring platform. If not, brainstorm other ways to be a consistent, caring presence for students, e.g. writing letters or emails that the school can pass along. (Example: The Bridge. Note: Houston ISD’s Read Houston Read program and Big Brothers Big Sisters have online platforms) See additional resources and hotline information here.
  • Support and Appreciate Teachers. Teachers and school staff have been heroes during this time! Plan a back to school teacher appreciation event, and continue supporting and encouraging teachers throughout the school year. Email teachers to see how they’re doing. Send e-gift cards to say THANK YOU! Invite volunteers (or your pastor!) to record a short video expressing appreciation. Ensure teachers have the supplies they need. (Examples: Champion Forest Baptist, Long Point Baptist, Landrum Middle)
  • Pray. Prayer support is so important during this time. Continue an existing prayer ministry via Zoom, or ask if you can start one! Set up an email address where students and staff can send confidential prayer requests. Ask to prayer walk around the school (following appropriate safety guidelines). Invite school staff to join you. (Find prayer resources here.)

Information, Resources, and Hotlines

Hotlines (Available 24/7):

Additional Resources:

Let’s continue to pray for our national, state, and city leaders as they make decisions regarding the health of our communities. Pray also for families as they make difficult decisions regarding work, childcare, and the safety and well-being of every family member. May we love our neighbors well during this time!

Last updated: July 9, 2020

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