Full STEAM Ahead


By Rev. Jenny Anderson

Hopewell UMC in Tyrone has a great philosophy about how to be in partnership with our nearby schools. The church simply asks what we can do to be good neighbors. 

This summer the principal of Burch Elementary and I sat down to discuss ways the school and church can work together in the upcoming school year. I asked her if the school needed traditional school supplies for the beginning of the year. She quickly answered, "No! We need STEAM Supplies."  

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. This year the students will work in combined classed on different STEAM projects. So our annual school supply collection is a little weird. (But, you know, a lot of things we do at church are a little weird!) Hopewell members are bringing in hammers, plywood, painters tape, ping pong balls, clean coffee cans, and dowels -- along with about a dozen other items we don't usually see in the "Back to School" section of the store. We're glad we asked before we bought paper and pencils!

Hopewell is also collecting gift cards to be given out as prizes to teachers throughout the year. Soon we'll share our shopping list for food to send home in children's backpacks who might otherwise be hungry over the weekend. 

Another part of the partnership we're looking forward to is jointly raising funds for Rise Against Hunger. This year the teachers collected money as their "give back" to help support Rise. Students in one of the combined classes will also collect money. This is the first year that students and teachers are working with us in the collection of funds. Once we've reached our goal, we'll pack meals together! 

Perhaps most importantly, all year we will pray for the students in our community. 

Through this effort, may we grow in our love of Christ and follow the example of Christ to love to our neighbors. 

Rev. Jenny Anderson is pastor of Hopewell UMC in Tyrone. Contact her at jenny.anderson@ngumc.net. 

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