by Dan Kubish
In September 2010, NewSpring Church had the opportunity to sponsor a public school assembly on the subject of bullying. The assembly went very well and the principal began to dialogue with our children’s ministry staff about the possibility of having more assemblies in the school that would present important character traits. We knew that the values we were teaching kids on the weekend in church were important values for every kid and family. We discovered that we could design a high-energy, engaging program that would be appropriate for a public school setting.
In February 2011, we brought together all the kids in one elementary school from kindergarten through 5th grade and presented a 45-minute assembly on the value of kindness: showing others they are valuable by how you treat them. We were invited back the next month. Word of mouth began to spread about these FREE assemblies that were being enjoyed at the elementary school level. We received some invitations to visit other schools, and by May 2012 we were performing monthly assemblies in 18 schools with a total attendance of 9,500 students. As we begin the school year of 2014/2015, we will be presenting assemblies in 63 elementary schools and 8 middle school venues for a total student impact of 25,000 students across the state of Kansas!
We are so grateful for the door of opportunity that has been opened to us to impact kids and their families through the public school system. One of my favorite quotes from a teacher is “The Big Idea Experience Team puts the pill of learning in the pudding of fun!” Schools now ask us to participate in special events such as parent nights and fundraisers. We have even been given space on some of our local digital signs to advertise our Big Ideas every month! Here are the principles that we believe have been essential in keeping our door of opportunity open.
- We believe in public schools! Our goal is to offer a helping hand rather than lobbing political hand grenades at them. We have several statements from teachers and administrators that behavior has improved in their schools after the Big Idea Experience assemblies.
- We don’t have a hidden agenda. We are not trying to recruit church members—we don’t even mention our church name while at the schools. Our purpose is specific: to turn good kids into great leaders.
- We work hard. Our team spends the day setting up, performing and tearing down up to four assemblies in different schools. We go home exhausted in body but exhilarated in spirit.
- Everything is free! Public schools are already strapped for funds and they are looking for ways to cut back on spending. Through the generous giving of our church family (even all of our kids’ offering goes to support our public school efforts) we are able to provide the assemblies plus a subscription to Core Essentials Values Curriculum for free to every school.
Making a difference in the lives of anyone outside your church doors starts with building a trusted relationship. The Big Idea Experience is the avenue that has been opened to us. Our invitations come by word of mouth only. We don’t do any advertising. We have been contacted by schools from as far as three hours away from our home in Wichita, Kansas. Your opportunity may come in a different way. Whatever it is, be willing to color outside the lines to impact a school in your area. Desire to have your eyes opened to every opportunity. Be bold!
Core Essentials Values provides strategy and resources for schools, families, and communities to treat others right, make smart decisions, and maximize their potential. Learn more about bringing Core Essentials Values to your community: www.CoreEssentials.org.